Phoenix/ Retail & Industry
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Published on June 17, 2024
Panera Bread to Close Chandler Dough Facility, 64 Employees to be Laid OffSource: Google Street View

The community of Chandler is facing a significant change in its employment landscape, as ABC15 reports that Panera Bread is planning the shutdown of its dough-making facility. The closure, scheduled for this summer, will see 64 employees out of work. Notices were sent out to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, and local officials on June 12, marking the beginning of the end for operations at 590 N. 54th Street.

Kathy-Jo Payette, who holds the role of Panera's senior vice president and chief people officer, declared in a letter that terminations would be split across two dates, August 12 for 16 workers, and August 15 for the remaining 48 employees. While none of the employees at this facility are under union representation or part of a collective bargaining agreement, Payette assured that Panera has informed the affected personnel in advance and is offering severance packages alongside outplacement services to aid their transition.

Further details were scarce as Panera did not directly address inquiries from The Business Journal regarding the specific reasons behind the closure or the types of roles impacted. However, information available suggests that the Chandler facility functioned as a fresh dough distribution center, supplying various Panera Bread outlets within the area.

Panera Bread appears to be amidst a notable company-wide overhaul, featuring a menu revamp and reported executive level alterations – including the appointment of a new CEO, and in line, with an anticipated public offering in sight. Not isolated to Panera, the Phoenix metro has been a witness to a wave of layoffs, another high-profile case being Northrop Grumman, which has disclosed possible layoffs affecting over 500 workers, situated in Chandler as well.

The company has pledged efforts to mitigate the blow of job loss, including organizing a job fair ahead of the closure date at the Chandler facility, where affected employees are encouraged to seek new opportunities.