Ever since it opened in my area a few years back, I’ve used Panera Bread Restaurants as my secondary “office” on a few occasions. These are some of the reasons why.
First and foremost, Panera Bread Restaurants is one of the only major food chains that offers free WiFi . Free wireless internet is like a beckoning call for freelancers and work at homers. As long as you buy something, a coffee, a bagel, a bread soup, whatever, you’ve got access to reliable, fast, Free WiFi for as long as you need it.
Get Away from the Annoyances of Home
I come to Panera Bread Restaurants rarely, but when I do it’s mostly because I have a deadline and need to get away from the distractions and annoyances of home life. When I’m there it’s just me, my laptop, and an asiago bagel…
Asiago Bagels are Yummy
Speaking of Asiago Bagels. They are awesome. The first time I tried one it was from one of Panera Breads samples. The freshly baked Asiago Bagels at Panera Bread restaurants is definitely a draw for me on those hard mornings when I have a lot to get done.
Unlimited Coffee Refills
Now here is something that you just can’t get at Starbucks. Panera Breads restaurants lets you refill your cup of coffee as often as you want for no additional charge. You can even rinse out your Panera Bread cup and refill it with some Mountain Dew instead, if you want. Go crazy.
Plenty of Outlets
Another reason why I constantly look for a Panera Bread when I need to work outside of the house is because there are plenty of Panera Bread locations to choose from. They are usually located in suburban areas and places on the outskirts of major cities. They are not located in NYC yet, to my great dismay, but that is presumably because of the high cost of doing business in New York City.
Kind Employees Who Mind Their Business (For the Most Part)
The last great thing about Panera Bread restaurants is that the employees leave you alone and let you work for as long as you need to. They don’t come over and impose time limits on your stay, or ask you to leave. (However, there is a rule at Panera Breads that you are not supposed to take up a table during the lunch rush, 11:00 to 2pm, when you’re using the laptop. Sometimes this rule is enforced by having the internet on your computer shut down after a half an hour between those hours.) They let you do what you have to do.
I said for the most part because there are a couple of situations when a Panera Breads employee will give you indirect hints that it’s time for you to go. When she gets to sweeping around your feet and wiping down the double table right next to your laptop towards the end of the night, you can be sure that inside she’s wondering “When the hell is he going to leave already so I can clean his table and go home???”
So Panera Bread is my home office away from home. They get high marks from me on all fronts, and though the Free WiFi seems to be the main draw, don’t neglect to sample their delicious foods and breads. It is the Panera Bread Company after all!