A now-viral video which shows how Panera Bread makes its mac and cheese was posted by one of its female employees. She is now fired.
The video was originally posted last week on the social media app TikTok and had the caption ‘exposing Panera.’ It showed an employee dropping a plastic bag of frozen mac and cheese into a boiler which the employee then cut the bag open after it was cooked pouring the contents of the bag into a bowl.
At the end of the video, the woman who posted it gave a ‘thumbs up’ gesture. As it went viral, it quickly drew a lot of criticism as those who commented slammed the restaurant chain for preparing and serving heated up frozen food rather than mac and cheese that is cooked fresh in the restaurant’s kitchen.
On person commented that Panera’s food is like hospital food snd that the video is proof of it. Other comments expressed no surprise to this practice of Panera Bread’s food preparation.
But on Twitter, one person tweeted in surprise as to what the employee was trying to expose, since in the user’s opinion all fast food establishments operate this way. The user’s tweet asked if people really thought there was a chef stirring away making their mack and cheese on the spot.
The backlash regarding the posted video was not only for Panera Bread but also for the unidentified woman who posted the video who said on Friday that she lost her job on account of it and her comment on Twitter sounded as though she thought it was surprisingly hilarious.
According to the Washington Post, a Panera Bread spokesperson did confirm the authenticity of the video but refused to make any comments on any personnel issues. The company spokesperson defended the way the mac and cheese was prepared clarifying that their mack and cheese is a patented Panera brand product which is prepared offsite using Panera’s proprietary recipe which has been developed by its own chefs.
After preparation, the Panera Bread brand of mac and cheese is then frozen and shipped to the company’s cafes around the country. Preparing their mac and cheese in this manner, the spokesperson said, allows the company to avoid using preservatives which would not meet their clean standards.
Panera Bread was founded in 1987 and its headquarters is located in Sunset Hills, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. It has over 2,000 locations in the US and Canada with over 50,000 employees.