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Mon Oct 14, 2019, 02:39 PM

Panera Bread worker says TikTok video showing frozen mac-and-cheese got her fired

Source: CBS News

A former Panera Bread employee apparently paid a stiff price for appearing in a video showing the chain's popular macaroni and cheese is pre-packaged and frozen.

Shared on the app TikTok with the caption "exposing Panera," the short video ó which has amassed more than 6 million views ó shows a plastic packet of frozen mac and cheese dropped into boiling water, cut open and poured into a bowl. A woman with a Panera Bread cap then gives a thumbs up over the ready-to-serve meal.

The woman in the video on Friday announced on Twitter that "I lost my job for this."




<snip>

According to Panera, it sells more than 3 million mac-and-cheese servings a month "Our mac and cheese is made off site with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs and using our sourced ingredients that met our standards for our clean menu offerings," the spokesperson said. "It is shipped frozen to our baker cafes ó this allows us to avoid using certain preservatives that do not meet our clean standards."

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/panera-bread-worker-says-she-was-fired-for-video-showing-frozen-mac-and-cheese/

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Reply Panera Bread worker says TikTok video showing frozen mac-and-cheese got her fired (Original post)
groundloop Oct 14 OP
Beakybird Oct 14 #1
ProfessorGAC Oct 15 #70
jberryhill Oct 15 #126
LisaM Oct 14 #2
CurtEastPoint Oct 14 #4
Floyd R. Turbo Oct 14 #5
customerserviceguy Oct 14 #32
stopdiggin Oct 15 #103
blugbox Oct 14 #3
Mosby Oct 14 #9
obamanut2012 Oct 14 #11
packman Oct 14 #41
MontanaMama Oct 14 #53
a la izquierda Oct 15 #71
obamanut2012 Oct 15 #83
hibbing Oct 14 #6
RobinA Oct 14 #10
hibbing Oct 14 #14
SeattleVet Oct 14 #17
RobinA Oct 14 #18
customerserviceguy Oct 14 #34
Aussie105 Oct 14 #50
dewsgirl Oct 14 #26
WestLosAngelesGal Oct 14 #42
Igel Oct 15 #114
RobinA Oct 14 #7
ripcord Oct 15 #72
PoliticAverse Oct 14 #8
Sherman A1 Oct 14 #13
Codeine Oct 14 #12
nilram Oct 14 #20
Kali Oct 14 #22
cstanleytech Oct 15 #55
SunSeeker Oct 15 #86
jberryhill Oct 15 #127
happybird Oct 14 #28
Major Nikon Oct 14 #35
Skittles Oct 14 #43
obamanut2012 Oct 15 #84
spooky3 Oct 15 #106
jberryhill Oct 15 #128
spooky3 Oct 15 #129
customerserviceguy Oct 14 #36
OAITW r.2.0 Oct 14 #15
Coventina Oct 14 #16
SunSeeker Oct 15 #63
spooky3 Oct 15 #108
Codeine Oct 15 #65
SunSeeker Oct 15 #90
treestar Oct 15 #73
doc03 Oct 14 #19
miyazaki Oct 14 #39
Hassin Bin Sober Oct 15 #78
Sapient Donkey Oct 15 #135
Ace Rothstein Oct 14 #21
keithbvadu2 Oct 14 #23
Politicub Oct 14 #24
Aussie105 Oct 14 #51
Politicub Oct 15 #68
Mosby Oct 15 #91
Politicub Oct 15 #93
Mosby Oct 15 #95
Politicub Oct 15 #96
X_Digger Oct 14 #25
blueinredohio Oct 14 #27
customerserviceguy Oct 14 #37
LisaL Oct 14 #44
SunSeeker Oct 15 #58
Sneederbunk Oct 14 #29
SunSeeker Oct 15 #81
stopdiggin Oct 15 #104
SunSeeker Oct 15 #109
Takket Oct 15 #134
Igel Oct 15 #116
SunSeeker Oct 15 #117
Jake Stern Oct 14 #30
customerserviceguy Oct 14 #38
Glimmer of Hope Oct 14 #31
dameatball Oct 14 #33
Gore1FL Oct 14 #40
LisaL Oct 14 #45
Gore1FL Oct 14 #46
LisaL Oct 14 #47
SunSeeker Oct 15 #60
treestar Oct 15 #74
YOHABLO Oct 14 #48
IronLionZion Oct 14 #49
SunSeeker Oct 15 #64
Codeine Oct 15 #66
SunSeeker Oct 15 #80
Codeine Oct 15 #99
SunSeeker Oct 15 #110
Codeine Oct 15 #113
SunSeeker Oct 15 #121
Codeine Oct 15 #123
SunSeeker Oct 15 #136
IronLionZion Oct 15 #69
SunSeeker Oct 15 #85
LoveMyCali Oct 15 #122
Renew Deal Oct 14 #52
Aussie105 Oct 14 #54
mathematic Oct 15 #82
Initech Oct 15 #87
Codeine Oct 15 #101
progree Oct 15 #115
Polybius Oct 15 #56
SunSeeker Oct 15 #59
Polybius Oct 15 #61
SunSeeker Oct 15 #62
Codeine Oct 15 #67
SunSeeker Oct 15 #79
Codeine Oct 15 #98
SunSeeker Oct 15 #111
Codeine Oct 15 #112
SunSeeker Oct 15 #118
treestar Oct 15 #75
SunSeeker Oct 15 #57
johnp3907 Oct 15 #76
Initech Oct 15 #88
ArizonaLib Oct 15 #77
Igel Oct 15 #119
ArizonaLib Oct 15 #125
MineralMan Oct 15 #89
SunSeeker Oct 15 #92
MineralMan Oct 15 #94
Codeine Oct 15 #100
miyazaki Oct 15 #107
Igel Oct 15 #120
Kablooie Oct 15 #97
RobinA Oct 15 #132
RandiFan1290 Oct 15 #102
Codeine Oct 15 #124
Yeehah Oct 15 #131
Farmer-Rick Oct 15 #105
RobinA Oct 15 #133
Farmer-Rick Oct 15 #137
Yeehah Oct 15 #130
roamer65 Oct 15 #138

Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 02:42 PM

1. Heated plastic against the fat of the cheese gets all of the chemicals into your tummy.

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Response to Beakybird (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:58 AM

70. Sorry No

Your understanding of polymer chemistry appears suspect.
In addition, everything would packaged some way or another, so this particular approach would not be substantively different than other packaging methods.

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Response to Beakybird (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:12 PM

126. Which chemicals in packaging plastic are soluble in cheese?

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 02:50 PM

2. Yeah, maybe don't appear in a video called "Exposing Panera" in a company uniform

while working at said company.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:01 PM

4. Uh.... yes.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:01 PM

5. OMG! What a concept!

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Response to LisaM (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:37 PM

32. Yup

that's a "Captain Obvious" moment.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 03:00 PM

103. yep. a real Alfred E. Newman moment here

and it absolutely KILLS me that we're suppose to be ginning up sympathy ...
WHY? In what universe?

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 02:58 PM

3. You have to boil all the nutrients out of the plastic bag

Infusing it into the slurry.

And we wonder why we are all getting cancer.

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Response to blugbox (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:21 PM

9. Better stay away from sous vide then



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Response to blugbox (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:30 PM

11. sous vide

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 07:32 PM

41. Sous Vide ROCKS

Steak - perfection, melt in your mouth. Pork - not dry, buttery. Any veggies - like mouth candy. And best of all, can remain in a bag for hours and still come out to perfection.

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Response to packman (Reply #41)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:35 PM

53. Been looking at a sous vide...

Can you get bags without BPA? I worry about the chemicals leeching into the food.

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Response to packman (Reply #41)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:25 AM

71. Sous vide eggs are revolting. nt

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Response to packman (Reply #41)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:12 PM

83. Yes! Especially beef

It is so delicious cooked that way!

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:17 PM

6. People actually think they are back there making mac and cheese?

They are also back there making their soup right?

Peace

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Response to hibbing (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:27 PM

10. Yeah, I Kinda Did

think they made the soup. Itís not brain surgery. I was naive, obviously. This was some years ago. Definitely before I visited a Burger King on the PA Turnpike (I had no choice) and watched them microwave an already cooked burger to put on a bun for me. Never again. When I worked at McDonalds one way back summer we cooked the damn burgers in the store! Sometimes itís just impossible to avoid gross food.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:43 PM

14. I have a friend who works at a huge food service company

I was pretty surprised when he told me about all of the heat and serve stuff they sell to all kinds of restaurants, both huge chains and smaller mom and pops. It was rather disappointing.


Peace

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Response to hibbing (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:01 PM

17. ...along with some very high-end restaurants.

I worked with a guy several years ago that got onto a restaurant service mailing list, and the catalogs he got showed all sorts of high-end 'gourmet' dishes, ready to heat and serve. Their clients included some of the very highly rated upper echelon restaurants, along with the chains and mom-n-pops.

You may very well be paying gourmet prices at a fancy place for what is essentially a frozen TV Dinner.

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Response to SeattleVet (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:13 PM

18. Yikes!

Definitely disappointing. Iím going to be wondering about this the next time I have something thatís meh... at a nice restaurant!

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Response to SeattleVet (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:41 PM

34. Best thing to do

is learn how to cook food from scratch. I find it very satisfying, and I felt that way before I retired, too. Saves a lot of money, too.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #34)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:19 PM

50. Alternatively

Buy the frozen stuff yourself (if you have to) and take it out of the plastic before heating.

But homemade from fresh ingredients is best.

Got to wonder - the mac & cheese - cost per serve to the re-heater food places, and cost to the consumer? From 25c to $2.50, type of thing?

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Response to RobinA (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 05:06 PM

26. Burger King does it after it runs through broiler

to kill any bacteria. I can't believe I remember that from when I was 18.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #10)


Response to RobinA (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:34 PM

114. You want consistency across hundreds of store fronts, you

need to make sure that production's tightly controlled. Otherwise you go to a Panera (or Taco Bell, etc., etc.) and find that you don't like today what you liked yesterday, it's saltier or doesn't have the right amount of garlic, or the portion size is smaller (bigger's fine, but resets the portion size so when it returns to normal it's "smaller".

Zero tolerance for imperfections and deviance from the prescribed expectations.

It's what's driven mass-produced identical tomatoes and peppers and apples and ...

Most blame the producers. I blame the consumer. Sure, there are economies of scale and time efficiencies to be had, but it's really wanting to build and keep a customer base through a consistently (fairly) high quality product. By eliminating mistakes--more likely than eliminating moments of culinary genius--it won the market.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:19 PM

7. Their Soup

comes in big bags. No, I donít work there, I had my eyes open when looking in their food prep area while waiting for my order. I guess I was a little surprised. Damn, nobody cooks anymore. I donít go there anymore. Too expensive for what you get.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:34 AM

72. If you think about it

There is no way a store front restaurant would have the space to do all that cooking on site, I do admit to being disappointed, I assumed they had their own central kitchens that produced their food.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:20 PM

8. Kids - if you embarrass your employer on the Internet you may get fired. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:42 PM

13. Yup

Not career enhancing at all.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:40 PM

12. What's the issue with frozen food?

If your ass is eating Mac-n-cheese at a fucking Panera Bread donít pretend youíre some kind of gourmand. Freezing is a fantastic way of storing and preserving all sorts of foods and acting like itís somehow beneath you is childish.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:26 PM

20. Exactly. I don't go to Panera for a fine dining experience.

And now I think Iíll get the mac-and-cheese next time.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:40 PM

22. frozen is fresher!

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Response to Kali (Reply #22)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:40 AM

55. Certainly might be safer considering the state of some restaurants and or

lack of staff able to even boil water without burning the pot which my brother has done numerous times when he falls asleep with something on the stove.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #55)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:35 PM

86. Boiling food in plastic does not make the food safer. To the contrary.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #86)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:18 PM

127. Food grade vacuum sealing bags do not contain BPA

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Response to Codeine (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 05:25 PM

28. Yep. My favorite is people who think seafood is fresh,

not frozen, when they live hundreds of miles away from any ocean.

Yes, maíam. We are in Virginia, but we caught that cod fresh this morning. Thanks for asking!


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Response to happybird (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:45 PM

35. Sometimes it's flown in

My all time favorite fish market is White River in Tulsa. They are right by the airport and have had their fish flown in daily for decades. Itís also true that some types of fish are frozen right on the boat so even if you live on the coast you are getting frozen.

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Response to happybird (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 08:45 PM

43. my pilot buddy says they fly in fish all the time

for the "fresh fish" restaurants

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Response to happybird (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:13 PM

84. Flash frozen on the ship also kills parasites

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Response to happybird (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 03:29 PM

106. Much of Virginia is within a couple of hours' drive or less

From the ocean and many lakes.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #106)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:20 PM

128. Do they catch a lot of cod in Virginia waters?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #128)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:22 PM

129. was the poster being literal re: only cod? & if she/he was, cod is caught in the mid-Atlantic, and

and we are very definitely in the mid-Atlantic region.

http://www.daybreakfishing.com/atlantic-cod.html

And, as I am sure you are aware, many other seafoods are served fresh in the DC metro area and many other parts of VA.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:46 PM

36. While I agree with you in principle

Most people have the illusion that for the prices they pay at a restaurant (even a mega-chain), that they should be getting food that is made fresh. Clearly, Panera's is vested in perpetuating that myth.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 03:55 PM

15. This won't stop me from eating it

Love their soups as well😋

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:01 PM

16. So if it's no big deal and all that, why'd she get fired?

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Response to Coventina (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:47 AM

63. She was retaliated against for exposing their fraud.

Their "clean food" ads suggest the restaurant makes your meals from fresh "ingredients." The fact is, they are empyting it pre-made out of a bag. Even the salad.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #63)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 03:44 PM

108. Agree. Their marketing strongly implies that they make everything

freshly in the store.

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Response to Coventina (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:27 AM

65. Because they recognize

that people are a bunch of whiny babies that will act like frozen food is an abomination unto god.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #65)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:43 PM

90. No, Panera recognizes many people don't want to eat boil-in-the-bag food.

Basically,†heat†can cause the BPA and Phthalates in†plastics†to leach into your food. https://www.techtimes.com/articles/232985/20180806/you-shouldn-t-microwave-food-in-plastic-containers-or-put-them-in-the-dishwasher-says-new-research.htm

Panera knows people are trying to avoid that. That is why their mac n cheese ads imply it is made from scratch, starting with big blocks of cheese...not a plastic bag in sight.

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Response to Coventina (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:48 AM

73. And it is true anyway, so

why do they feel she exposed them?

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:22 PM

19. Their food is wildly overpriced and I dont

think it is that good. $13 for a damn half a sandwich and a cup of soup with water. I ate there once this year. I can get soup in a bag at Subway or a can at Kroger.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 07:28 PM

39. Haha. I was waiting for the "half-sand" poster from that other thread

Tokyo being one of the most expensive cities doesn't even charge that much on average for what you ordered.

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Response to miyazaki (Reply #39)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 10:57 AM

78. It's the half a sandwich diet!

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Response to doc03 (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 09:29 PM

135. I went into once and left when I saw the prices

I don't mind paying for food that looks good to me, but nothing they had appealed to me enough to pay that much. Not knocking people's choice if they enjoy it, but I personally can't dig it.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:31 PM

21. Got food poisoning from their mac and cheese a few years ago, haven't eaten there since.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:43 PM

23. Panera is ashamed of their food and wants to hide the truth.

Panera is ashamed of their food and wants to hide the truth.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 04:51 PM

24. All of the baked goods are baked from frozen dough, too.

I think all of the soups come refrigerated.

And, naturally all of the lettuce mixes come bagged.

Panera is a rip-off.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #24)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:26 PM

51. Hey!

It's a great American business model!

Buy cheap, buy prepackaged, buy frozen, then defrost, serve with a smile, make the eaters think they are getting something special!
Pay low wages. Make huge profit, laugh all the way to the bank.

The truth is out there. Just have to see through the hype.

Thanks for the video. Whoever filmed and posted it.

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Response to Aussie105 (Reply #51)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:35 AM

68. God bless America!

Iím going to make some macaroni and cheese now. Reading about it so much is making me hungry.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #24)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:54 PM

91. Using pre prepped foods is good from a food safety standpoint

One of the changes chipotle made was to centralize a lot of their prep and then send it to the stores bagged up and ready to go. That way you don't have to worry as much about a sick employee cutting the chicken, or heads of lettuce sitting too long at room temp etc.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #91)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 01:33 PM

93. I guess. It changed my perception of Panera when I learned how they don't prepare much

of the food onsite.

It isn't cheap to eat at Panera, but how they use premade bakery goods, soups, dressings, etc. cheapened the experience.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #93)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 01:38 PM

95. I've never eaten there but I did check one out and was turned off by the prices.

I also think their invention of "clean food" is irresponsible and deceptive.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #95)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 01:43 PM

96. I didn't know that was their pitch! Panera is sneaky sneaky.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 05:03 PM

25. "Free speech" does not mean free from consequence. n/t

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 05:15 PM

27. Does Panera think we're dumb enough to think they

prepare each individual meal?

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Response to blueinredohio (Reply #27)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:48 PM

37. Clearly

they like to sell that illusion. Their whole "clean food" marketing schtick probably depends on it.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #37)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 09:22 PM

44. A lot of people initially couldn't even figure out what they meant by "clean" food.

Did they mean they washed it?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #44)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:27 AM

58. Sorta. They boiled it!

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 05:57 PM

29. Turn on your employer and see how far it gets you.

Don't forget to act shocked when there are repercussions.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #29)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:00 PM

81. Yes, we must never speak the truth about our corporate overlords!

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #81)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 03:10 PM

104. and retain your job?

your employer was happy when YOU called the newspaper?

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #104)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:17 PM

109. Of course not! Only boot lickers need apply!

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #109)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 09:24 PM

134. there are whistleblower laws to protect employees reporting actual wrongdoing...

This person was just a doofus who put her face and name on a video that she INTENDED to publish to embarrass the company.

if they were actually breaking some law, which they are not, Panera Bread would be subject to civil liability for retaliating.

but no company is going to retain an employee that actively goes out and attempts to drive customers away.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #81)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:42 PM

116. Brutal honesty doesn't always work.

Take here. By some lights, DU is heavily censored.

A kid I know said that he was fired, and it was incredibly unjust. He just spoke "the truth," calling the owner's son a "retard" and when he was called out on it by the kid's father calling the father an "asshole."

I told the kid that there are ways of saying the same content in a way that wouldn't make him sound like an arrogant dick that shouldn't be exposed to sentient life, and that if he intends to be an adult he should perhaps google those ways. It's a kid who, when he does something wrong, takes it as an insult to simply say, "Um, Gary, you did this wrong."

All rights, no responsibilities.


As the all-knowing Wiki-god puts it, "In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment being aware of the correct time and location to behave and knowing when to act, according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maturity_(psychological)

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Response to Igel (Reply #116)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 05:15 PM

117. Calling someone a "retard" is not "brutal honesty." It is a bigoted insult. nt

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:19 PM

30. She (hopefully) learned a valuable lesson

Don't shit talk the company that pays your wages over incredibly trivial shit like frozen mac 'n' cheese or you just might get sacked.

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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #30)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:52 PM

38. The other lesson would be

posting stuff on the Internet is not as cool as it first seems. At least she didn't lose a good job over this lapse of judgement.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:19 PM

31. Only use Tik Tok for cat videos.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 06:41 PM

33. The original Mueller's mac N cheese reecipe is still my favorite. It is not on the box you buy now

but you can Google it and easily fine the original. It uses dry mustard and I always add an extra stick of butter and an extra 8 ounces of cheese. Bread crumbs on top and cover half with sliced jalapenos. No, it probably isn't all that healthy but it takes enough time to make that you will probably only make it a couple times a year. Lots of stirring.
Anyway, better than Panera's I must say.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 07:29 PM

40. BreadCo should have just owned it and moved on.

While 99% won't care, sacking the kid for exposing trivial stuff is only going to get them negatives. If they said, "of course we do it this way, and list the reasons that this allows for higher quality, consistency, and helps to keep the cost to the consumer at a minimum.

Then it's a win.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #40)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 09:25 PM

45. I would be concerned about plastic particles being in it after they boil the plastic bag with it.

So I don't think "higher quality" would fly.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #45)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 09:34 PM

46. Fair point. I'm contending they could make the argument for why they do it that way.

Firing the worker makes it seem like she revealed a deep dark shameful secret. If they approached it openly and honestly, they could have kept a trained worker, got free advertisement, and had a teaching moment with their employees.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #46)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 09:35 PM

47. It really isn't a good advertisement.

I think it could easily lead to a drop in sales of their mac and cheese.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #40)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:34 AM

60. Exactly. Instead, they retaliated against a whistleblower who exposed their fraud.

Bad form.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #40)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:49 AM

74. +1 she did not even expose anything

they weren't wiling to admit.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 09:40 PM

48. People, people, people, mac and cheese is so easy to make. Start cooking at home.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:01 PM

49. I'm disappointed in people who are surprised by this

their soup also comes frozen and they heat it up. Fast food chains like this operate through standardization with certain suppliers and methods. There isn't much cooking going on back there.

And macaroni and cheese is quite easy to make at home. I've shocked the shit out of my college roommates years ago when they saw me boiling macaroni and melting cheese instead of using easy mac. We also got into an argument about real mashed potatoes when they tried to tell me that no one in the world (other than me) actually mashes potatoes because they all use instant packages.

Mac and cheese can be as easy or difficult as you want it. It blows my mind that anyone would buy it.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #49)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:54 AM

64. I prefer to be disappointed in the perpetrators of the fraud, rather than the victims. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #64)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:30 AM

66. Fraud?

Was anyone dumb enough to believe they were hand-crafting macaroni and cheese from scratch in a fast food restaurant?

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Response to Codeine (Reply #66)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 11:56 AM

80. Panera does not hold themselves out as a fast food restaurant. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #80)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:40 PM

99. They may style themselves as desired,

but thatís fast food.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #99)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:19 PM

110. Yes, another lie by Panera. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #110)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:30 PM

113. That's not a lie, really.

Itís a difference of opinion; I bet most consumers wouldnít consider it fast food because itís not counter-served bits of deep fried stuff in paper bags. Iím less forgiving, and consider all quick-service restaurants as being fast food.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #113)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 05:25 PM

121. On the contrary, you seem VERY forgiving of Panera.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #121)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 07:03 PM

123. There's nothing for which I need to forgive them.

They had frozen macaroni and cheese; that just isnít an issue for anyone with a lick of sense. Literally every chain restaurant has precooked meals.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #123)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 10:10 PM

136. Frozen isn't the issue. It's the misleading ads, suggesting it's made from scratch.

Even if most people know about chain restaurants using pre-cooked meals, that doesn't mean the misleading ads are ok. Just like Trump's lies are not ok just because most people know he's lying.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #64)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:41 AM

69. Customers are not victims. Maybe the minimum wage workers

What fraud?

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #69)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:15 PM

85. The fraud is in their ads.

Panera gushes about how they put together the best "clean" "ingredients," when everything, including the salad, comes from a bag. That is deeply misleading, i.e. a fraud. They are not mixing ingredients. They're emptying bags of pre-cooked food onto a plate.



Their ads imply their mac n cheese is made from scratch, starting with the cheese:





And yes, their workers are victims too. All American low wage workers like her are victims of depressed wages, inadequate benefits/healthcare and a poor safety net.

It is really disappointing to see so many on a progressive discussion board mock a worker as stupid and insolent just for telling the truth about her employer.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #85)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 05:31 PM

122. It doesn't say it's prepared in the store

It does say it's made from real ingredients but it doesn't actually say where it's prepared. No fraud.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:30 PM

52. Pretty much what would be expected.

I don't think there is anything wrong with their technique, though this could be like telling kids that adults are the tooth fairy.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2019, 10:36 PM

54. It blows my mind that anyone would buy it.

It blows my mind that anyone would EAT it.

Macaroni and cheese? I can see calories far and wide, a bit of protein, but no vitamins, minerals or roughage.

Disclaimer: Never tried it myself, does NOT appeal. Better, more nutritious foods around. Just about anything, really.

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Response to Aussie105 (Reply #54)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:11 PM

82. Mac & cheese is high in protein and vitamins

If it's made with whole wheat macaroni, it's high in fiber too.

I'm not sure where you're getting your information that pasta and cheese are not nutritious but you've been extremely misinformed.

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Response to Aussie105 (Reply #54)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:41 PM

87. I love good mac and cheese.

Panera's is decent mac and cheese but for the price? You can definitely get better!

Although I'm shocked anyone would think that it's anything but frozen.

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Response to Aussie105 (Reply #54)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:47 PM

101. Agreed. Mac and cheese is revolting. nt

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Response to Aussie105 (Reply #54)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:40 PM

115. If your doctor tells you that you don't get enough saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and refined

grains, then you probably should buy it. However, I don't think very many doctors recommend crap like this. The ones that do are the same sort that recommend Lucky Strikes and Marlboros.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 01:33 AM

56. As it should

You don't bash an employer with videos at the workforce of them doing something perfectly legal.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #56)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:32 AM

59. Panera is committing a fraud upon their customers suggesting they cook from scratch.

Their whole "clean food" ad campaign is a fraud.

She was fired for exposing their lie; she was firedfor showing it is in fact boil-in-the-bag pre-cooked food.

She is basically a whistleblower who was retaliated against. That is wrongful termination.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #59)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:35 AM

61. Did they actually say they cook it from scratch to customers?

If so, then I'll self-delete.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #61)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:42 AM

62. That is the implication they make in their "clean food" ads.

The talk of "ingredients" when everything, including the salad, comes from a bag, is deeply misleading. They are not mixing ingredients. They're emptying bags of pre-cooked food.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #62)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:32 AM

67. The quality of ingredients

has nothing to do with whether those ingredients are pre-cooked or not. Thatís just silly.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #67)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 11:51 AM

79. Silly is defending corporate fraud, and mocking its victims.

Last edited Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:25 PM - Edit history (1)

Panera's commercials clearly imply their mac n cheese is made from scratch, starting with the cheese.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #79)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:39 PM

98. It is made from scratch, starting with cheese.

Then itís frozen and sent to individual locations.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #98)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:20 PM

111. Well, everything is made from scratch by your definition.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #111)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 04:27 PM

112. Which is why it's a meaningless term,

and should not be taken seriously.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #112)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 05:20 PM

118. The term has meaning and implications, you're just trying to redefine it into meaninglessness. nt

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Response to Polybius (Reply #56)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:49 AM

75. They should be big enough to take it

They are a big company; she's a low level employee.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:22 AM

57. K & R for exposure.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:59 AM

76. This thread is hilarious!

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Response to johnp3907 (Reply #76)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:41 PM

88. Don't tell Liz Lemon!



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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 10:44 AM

77. Their bakeries are all local to major metropolitan areas

Not a good reason to freeze Mac and Cheese. Any middle schooler who has ever made Mac and Cheese could attest that making it fresh is just as quick as waiting or forcing it to thaw.

Not only that, but if prefrozen mac-and-cheese were not an issue, no need exists to fire that employee. If their process were so great, why not an ad, "No preservatives...great flavor made locally"?

No one is going to Panera or any such place for the gourmet mac-and-cheese. Anyone loving mac-and-cheese knows someone or someplace that makes it the way they like.

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Response to ArizonaLib (Reply #77)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 05:21 PM

119. Sure it is.

You make it consistently in large batches and freeze it in portions.

Immediate portion control. Less wastage. And it's faster--you don't thaw each and every portion only after it's requested. You look over historical sales, thaw out 20 portions in anticipation of needing 20 portions. If you're over, it keeps--it's still packaged. If you're under, then as you get close to running out then you take another portion or two out of the freezer.

I'd have ditched the employee. She thought she was pulling one over and doing her employer dirty in the interest of freeriding as a "whistle-blower." Perhaps thought she was doing everybody a great favor by dissing her boss and that there should be no consequence.

"It's no big deal" is also a slap--"Hey, I'm the employee, but I'm the one who knows better and *should* be making the decisions." I can only imagine that this was the last in a long line of offenses involving her overall assitude.

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Response to Igel (Reply #119)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 07:30 PM

125. Not a question about profitability - but PR

My comment explained how, if a company who would get embarrassed by public knowledge of frozen prep could handle better rather than their response of distilled wordsmith, which didn't move it forward for them. I don't care how they make anything. Frozen Mac and Cheese is not our food chain's biggest problem (in our house it takes weeks for bread to bad, if ever - real bread molds eventually. Chemical 'bread' doesn't.

As for the employee - there is a scene in the movie The Toy with Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor where Gleason's character, a millionaire, teaches his son that exposing/embarrassing someone or an entity simply for the sake of sensationalism accomplishes nothing good for anyone. (The movie is a little slow compared to those these days, but watching the last 20 - 30 minutes sets up an insightful ending for anyone who would enjoy it.)

I entirely agree with you about the employee - keeping that employee would have undermined any internal culture Panera has managed to build over the years.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:42 PM

89. Of course they use frozen, single-serving packaged mac 'n cheese.

Nothing else would be economical. Pasta dishes don't hold well. You have to make them fresh just before serving or drop a bag that has the dish frozen in it. Otherwise you end up with high school cafeteria food. Now, Panera isn't much better than that, really, and I don't eat there because I can do it myself at home for way, way less money, but you can't have mac and cheese on the menu and make it one serving at a time from scratch. Too expensive, to do it that way. Make a barrel of it, put it in single-serving bags and freeze it. Then, just drop the bag into boiling water and serve it when it's hot. That's how you do it in a restaurant.

Clean Food! What does that even mean? I don't eat at Panera.

Want to see lots of things like that? Go here:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/54931/appetizers-and-hors-d-oeuvres.html

Want some cool entrees to offer at your restaurant? Look here:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/54927/frozen-entrees.html

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #89)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:57 PM

92. Panera fraudulently implies you're not getting boil-in-the-bag food, when in fact you are.

Basically,†heat†can cause the BPA and Phthalates in†plastics†to leach into your food. https://www.techtimes.com/articles/232985/20180806/you-shouldn-t-microwave-food-in-plastic-containers-or-put-them-in-the-dishwasher-says-new-research.htm

Panera knows people are trying to avoid that. Panera recognizes the truth is not appetizing. That is why their mac n cheese ads imply it is made from scratch, starting with big blocks of cheese...not a plastic bag in sight:

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #92)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 01:37 PM

94. Well, they don't actually say that. Somewhere, there are wheels of cheese,

just not at your local Panera store. It is made from scratch. Then it is put in single-serving bags and shipped to the local Panera store, where they drop the bags in boiling water and then into the bowl. If you order toppings, they add those there. Nowhere do they imply that they have a pot of white cheddar sauce and boil some pasta shells and add the sauce to them.

You inferred that from the wheels of cheese and them sprinkling some toppings on the bowl. They didn't imply it, though.

Frankly, about the only thing you can expect to be made after you order in any chain restaurant is something that gets grilled. Every side dish is made off-site and simply heated and plated.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #92)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:46 PM

100. I watched the commercial.

They donít imply anything about where the food is prepared. They state (I assume honestly) that they use quality ingredients in the product. Quality ingredients freeze just as well as cheap ingredients, so I donít see the issue.

That said, I donít eat there, but itís nowt to do with frozen food or boiled bags.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #92)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 03:36 PM

107. Friend, don't even bother anymore. People like their frozen crap in a bag.



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Response to miyazaki (Reply #107)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 05:25 PM

120. But post 92 self-deconstructs.

If you've ever made macaroni and cheese, you know that "big blocks of cheese" don't cut it. You grate it. Then it doesn't matter if it starts with big blocks or curds.

You also see the folly of the claim: "I'll start with a big block of cheese for a single serving" makes no sense. "I'll make 30 servings and keep them warm, so that in an hour or two I'll have just a homogeneous casein-gluten mash as appetite-inspiring as mashed brussels sprouts with chocolate sauce."

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:05 PM

97. I've got no problem with freezing if it tastes good but...

I've got a problem with the prices.
They've been raised a bit above where I feel comfortable recently.

$13 for 1/2 sandwich and cup of soup seems high for a place like this.

It's more understandable at a restaurant where they have real cooks to prepare the food and servers but for a fast food place it seems excessive.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #97)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 09:04 PM

132. Prices Are What

turned me off too.

I go there and for the price I expect to get a big stuffed sandwich. It comes and itís this small thing with not a lot in it. I can get do better at the nearest hoagie shop for half the price. Will will say I like their iced tea, and frozen dough or not, I do like the pastries Iíve had. Above average for whatís available out there unless you happen to have a bakery handy. Now thereís a lost retail establishment - a real bakery.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:58 PM

102. The boot lickers say she deserved to be fired?

She doesn't do anything but show how their food is prepared.

What are they ashamed of?

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #102)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 07:08 PM

124. She should not have been fired.

A ridiculous overreaction by management, as per usual.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #124)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:34 PM

131. It was a deliberate attempt to embarrass the company

I'd fire her ass too.

Even though frozen mac & cheese is nothing to be embarrassed about.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 03:21 PM

105. In the 1980s, they had frozen foods you dropped in water to thaw then serve.

It tasted like plastic bag to me. Even some frozen foods I've purchased smell like plastic, especially frozen bread.

Those frozen veggies that you microwave in the bag also have a very plastic flavor.

I can't imagine the method they use tastes any good. Or people have gotten so use to that awful plastic flavor in everything that they don't notice it anymore.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #105)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 09:07 PM

133. My Sister

can taste plastic bag a mile away. I cannot.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #105)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 10:15 PM

137. Ahhh, so maybe only some people can taste the plastic.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 08:28 PM

130. What's the big deal about pre-packaged mac & cheese?

Are we supposed to believe Grannie is in the kitchen at Panera Bread, making her scrumptious homemade mac & cheese?

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 10:21 PM

138. Panera is a ultra rarity for me.

The place is too damn expensive for the amount of food you get.

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