Panera Bread is a chain of bakery-café, fast casual restaurants that specialize in soups, salads, sandwiches, and fresh-baked goods. The company was founded by Louis Kane and Ron Shaich in 1981 under the name of Au Bon Pain, Co., Inc. After purchasing Saint Louis Bread Company in 1993 (a chain of 20 bakery-cafés which were re-staged to become Panera Bread), Au Bon Pain Co. sold all other chains in 1999 in order to expand Panera Bread into a national restaurant. The company was renamed Panera Bread and its headquarters are located in St. Louis, Missouri. As of April 30th, 2014, there are 1,800 bakery-cafés in 45 states and Ontario, Canada.
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