Panera has become a place where a lot of people go to eat, hang out, and even work. But not every one knows that Panera is also very involved in creating community activities.
"We recently had a cookie decorating day," Peter Croteau, General Manager of Panera said. "It's meant for younger children and we had different things for them to decorate and make the cookies."
Part of the proceeds went to Boston Children's Hospital. In fact, Panera does a lot of work for the hospital and is always trying to create fundraisers for the organization.
The restaurant also donates to local charities in Dedham.
"We help out the Dedham Food Pantry a few times a week," Croteau said. "What's great about it is that we bake our breads every day, so the donations we give are always fresh."
Katie Emerson is the Marketing Coordinator for Panera and is pleased that the restaurant offers fundraising opportunities for local organizations.
"It beats knocking on doors and it's completely free to use," she said. "Our Donations Department creates the flyer, and for the whole day whoever brings it in, 20 percent of sales will go to the organization. And with social media, there's no reason an organization wouldn't be able to spread the word and make some money."
Panera is also hoping to create more community events for the holiday season.
"We make these events to create a sense of community," Croteau said. "And that's the most important thing we wanna bring."