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Growing Your Off-Premise Business While Enhancing Your On-Premise Guest Experience

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.


Eduardo Luz | Chief Brand & Concept Officer | Panera Bread

Eduardo Luz joined Panera in May 2020, bringing more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in brand, concept, marketing, and management. Previously, Eduardo held various leadership roles with The Kraft Heinz Company – Global Brand Officer, Chief Marketing Officer for the U.S., and President of Grocery, the company’s largest division – leading teams focused on brand strategy, media, design, innovation, and brand renovation. Prior to Kraft-Heinz, Eduardo led teams at Unilever Brazil and AB InBev Central Europe. Eduardo holds an MBA, Marketing and Systems/Information/Decisions from The Wharton School, and a BcS Industrial Engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Rob Sopkin | SVP, Chief Development Officer | Panera Bread

Rob Sopkin brings more than 30 years of real estate development experience to his role as Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer. Prior to joining Panera, Rob served as Chief Development Officer for Planet Fitness and previously as Chief Real Estate Officer at Dean & Deluca, leading strategic development. Rob also spent 18 years with Starbucks, driving growth and building highly effective teams for real estate, construction, design, and facilities functions. Rob was recognized as one of the “Most Influential People in Food” by New York Magazine in 2006. Rob is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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