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Why Companies That Innovate on People and Talent Will Win

Companies that innovate will be successful, but companies that innovate on people and talent will win. If you have the talent piece in place, your brand can thrive in an age where every company in every industry is disrupting or transforming their category. As a long-established successful fast-casual brand, Panera has been on a transformation journey of its own, underscored by investments in technology—to seamlessly integrate digital ordering platforms, Rapid Pick-Up and delivery services—as well as its commitment to clean and healthy ingredients. A pivotal part of that journey, for every company, is attracting both customers and top talent to carry the brand into the future.


Karen Kelley | SVP, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer | Panera Bread

Karen Kelley joined Panera in December 2018 as Senior Vice President, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer, bringing her experience of building great teams and culture, infrastructure and operating processes to the company. As a proven leader in the restaurant business, Karen believes leadership is an honor and carries with it the responsibility of investing in building exceptional talent and teams to drive successful business and brand growth. Karen comes to Panera with more than 30 years of management and operational experience, having served as President and COO of Tatte Bakery & Café, sweetgreen and Drybar, where she was responsible for driving strategic growth, building the infrastructure and teams, and overseeing key internal leaders.

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