Panera Bread wants a slice of the big ol’ pizza game too

flatbread margherita style pizza
Photo: LauriPatterson (Getty Images)

Out of all the comfort foods we have, pizza is the clear winner right now (I can attest to it from firing off hundreds of them myself this year). Even in the middle of pandemic, new pizzerias are popping up every month and there’s no sign of stopping.

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Existing pizza chains are also adding different pizza or pizza-adjacent items to their menus, like the Slices-n-Stix at Little Caesar’s, or the folded-over pizza sandwich Papadia at Papa John’s. Next someone should sell pizza-filled basketballs that you can play with and then eat.

Other not-necessarily-pizza chain restaurants are taking notice, and this time around, it’s Panera Bread. Panera announced in a press release that it’s releasing a new set of flatbread items this week. Flatbread is basically pizza. There’s three varieties: cheese, margherita, and chicken and bacon. It’s hard to tell if this is a big foray into new territory for the chain, or if it’s just “let’s throw comfort food spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.”

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Instead of ye olde round circle pizza, these come in an oblong shape, sliced into six squarish slices. They start at $7.99.

These days, Panera has doubled its delivery business, with most of its sales online or through third-party apps like GrubHub. Pizza makes sense because hey, you eat it at lunch, you eat it at dinner, and sometimes you eat it the next morning, strolling around in your underwear, and dancing with your cat. If you’d like to eat pizza alongside your bread bowl filled with macaroni, or with some soup or whatever, feel free. There are no rules to your life.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

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DISCUSSION

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Pizza is too easy and too cheap to buy from Panera. Raise your standards for pizza or lower them before going to Panera, make your own or buy dominos or little caesars before considering Panera for your pizza needs. Just don't do it, friends don't let friends get pizza at Panera.