I haven’t worked there for about three years but at that time, Waiting To Exhale friends are the people who let you be yourself shirt they allowed tips. The catch is, the tips must be cash. The person who works the dining room bussing the tables and such gets any tips left on the tables. Cashiers sometimes get tipped by customers- usually after filling a complicated order or going above and beyond. The one I worked in altered their computer software so that tips couldn’t be paid with a card since many of the other Paneras in our franchise had computers that didn’t allow credit card tips. This “leveled the playing field” according to them. At our store it resulted in a huge pay cut for the catering staff. The regular folks (not catering) occasionally got cash tips but catering was the high tip field. Working at Panera had really turned me off from eating there for a long while, but lately I’ve been checking out stuff like the chicken Caesar salad, the broccoli cheddar soup (with a baguette for dipping).
The tomato soup, and the full-size grilled cheese Waiting To Exhale friends are the people who let you be yourself shirt with extra bacon. Every once in a while I’ll deviate from this and it’s always good, but I stick with these few items as a rule. You really can’t go wrong with the grilled cheese and a cup or bowl of soup. After checking out our local Panera store when it first opened locally about 5–6 years ago, I reeled back out the door trying not to visibly gasp in sticker shock. If that sounds a bit obsessive, then, fine, my frugal dial is turned up to Not-On-My-Watch, just shy of Hell-NO. Not only did the Great Recession of 2008 wreck havoc on our retirement, but income since then has been limp and is now tangled.