Employment Law

Panera laying off 17% of corporate staff ahead of IPO

A photo of an interior of a restaurant. (Photo: Rodeo Project Management Software / Unsplash)

Panera Brands (Panera) is scaling back its staffing levels as it prepares to become a publicly-traded company.

According to news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the operator of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros. Bagels is reducing its corporate workforce by approximately 17 per cent.

In an internal message that was viewed by WSJ, CEO José Alberto Dueñas called it a difficult move that will streamline the company and allow general managers at restaurants to operate more efficiently.

The layoff comes just months after Panera revealed that it was gearing up for an “eventual” initial public offering (IPO).

“To best position the company for the future and continually improve our guest experience, Panera is taking steps to simplify our operations,” a Panera Bread spokesperson told FOX Business.

“To fully enable this simplified model, we have made some difficult decisions to better align our support structure with our strategy.”

The company’s corporate workforce consists of approximately 1,800 employees, according to reports.

Major layoffs continue

The reduction at Panera comes amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Major North American companies, including National Bank, Nokia, Desjardins, Scotiabank, LinkedIn, AmazonTwitch, and Google, have announced deep job cuts as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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Termination agreements for Panera employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Panera are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for federally regulated workers
Severance packages in mass layoffs

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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