The Last Day for my Panera Coupon

Panera Coupon Dallas

Things are getting complicated. Today was the last day to use my Panera Coupon. I had tried to use it previously, but was then informed it was a mobile coupon, only good for mobile orders. Previously the in-store kiosks had counted as mobile orders, but not this time.

Panera Coupon Dallas

That doesn’t mean the order had to be take-out. It just means I had to order it from my mobile phone. So today, the last day to use my $5 Panera coupon, I walked in, helped myself to water, sat down at a table and went through the process of ordering my broth bowl via the mobile phone.

I do realize that margins can be slim in the restaurant business, but involving personal electronics presents another layer of complications. Heading out the door to go to lunch, I realized my phone was almost out of battery charge. It crossed my mind to change my plans, but being the last day for the Panera coupon, I headed back inside to fetch the portable charger. It was also on its last bar of energy, but none-the-less, that would be enough to get to Panera to use my coupon to get my broth bowl (which are very good by the way).

I guess it’s not that big of a deal. Obviously I am willing to make the shift for $5. But lacking a coupon, I’d rather order from a person. It just seems as if things are being set up so I can go to lunch and never have to say a word to anyone. What good are “third-places” if communication is void?

Only at Panera, while the food is good, I have a frequent desire desire to avoid communication because I know I could encounter a “robot” reciting similar corporate phrases to each customer. “A server will bring your food to the table. We’re glad you’re here,” or something along these lines. Instead, today I received an email telling me to wait at my table and a server would bring my food. Thanks, Panera.

I don’t mean to single out Panera, I love to try to say “Be Well” at Walgreen’s before the employee does. California Pizza Kitchen was using table-ordering devices long ago. I would prefer companies just try to hire people who say nice things, or at least extend normal courtesies naturally, not because its part of their job.

Perhaps this is a passing fad. Maybe it isn’t. I’ll likely keep ordering at the counter unless Panera continues seducing me to use the phone or kiosks with generous coupons.

About Eric Miller

Rick and I started this web magazine as The New Colonist back in 1999. I was in San Francisco, and he was in Los Angeles. We had a common interest in sustainability and city life. We're still at it. Today I am happy to have lived in both New York, San Francisco and Pittsburgh and to now reside in Dallas. Find more at ericmiller.me