1. What is Panera Bread’s strategy? Which of the five generic competitive strategies discussed in Chapter 5 most closely fit the competitive approach that Panera Bread is taking? What type of competitive advantage is Panera Bread trying to achieve?
Panera Bread’s strategy is to offer the upscale and quick-serving meals to urban workers and suburban dwellers. Panera Bread is taking the focused differentiation competitive approach. According to the case, Panera Bread targets on the urban workers and suburban dwellers market, providing them with high-quality foods at a price presenting a good value and aesthetically pleasing dining experiences that are better than its competitors. The competitive advantage Panera Bread is trying to achieve is to provide upscale, quick-service and high-quality dining to consumers.

2. What does a SWOT analysis of Panera Bread reveal about the overall attractiveness of its situation? Does the company have any core competencies or distinctive competencies?

Through the SWOT analysis, Panera Bread’s overall situation is attractive. It can take the advantages of these opportunities mentioned above through continue exploiting its competitive advantage-providing upscale and quick-service dining experience-in its expanded market and international market to obtain revenues. Also, it can continue to update its menus to keep up with consumers’ eating preferences to increase and retain the customers. Moreover, Panera Bread needs to cut its high operating costs by eliminating some unnecessary activities. Additionally, Panera Bread needs to continue to maintain its strength, offering a strong basis for the competition in the restaurant market.
The company did have core competencies, including franchise strategy and periodically updated new menus built on bakery expertise.