Food companies hold onto their recipes like pirates hold onto treasure maps. If Coca Cola was publishing the secret formula to its popular soda drink, the company would be ruined. Panera Bread is no different. Their macaroni and cheese are one of the most popular items they sell at their locations and in grocery stores – but when an employee decided to share a video “exposing” how the mac and cheese are made, they were disciplined and disciplined hard.
Because the woman used the TikTok app to film a video “exposing” how Panera Bread makes its coveted macaroni and cheese, she was fired from her job at the company. While everyone thinks that Panera Bread is offering a classy food experience – especially compared to fast-food competitors like McDonald’s and Burger King, the social media whistleblower proved that Panera Bread is not much better than those fast-food giants.
In the video, which she captioned simply “exposing Panera,” the woman behind the camera pops a bag of macaroni and cheese into a boiling pot of water. When the water heats up the frozen food product, she cuts open the bag and squeezes its contents into a bowl to “present” the food as fresh to the customer.
At the end of the video, the whistleblower employee gives a thumbs up to the camera in a sarcastic gesture. As people started watching her now-viral clip, many people shared their criticism of Panera Bread for pretending to be fresh when they’re simply serving frozen mac and cheese to their paying customers. Customers expect Panera Bread to serve macaroni and cheese that is cooked in their kitchen, not one that comes from a factory and is packaged in bags and frozen. The comments streamed in and made the fast-food sandwich shop look very bad.
“Someone said Panera is just hospital food, and this proves it,” a person wrote.
Because many viewers were cynical, they said they were not surprised Panera Bread was pawning off frozen factory food as “fresh,” because they knew that the company was simply a marketing scheme.
“I don’t get what she’s exposing? Did people really think there was a chef hanging out in the kitchen of Panera Bread, making their Mac and Cheese? This is literally how every fast food joint operates. Don’t be fooled.”
While Panera Bread took a hit from the video content, the woman behind the camera also got in trouble. On Friday, a few days after the video went viral, she announced that she was terminated.
“Lol, I lost my job for this.”
A Panera Bread spokesperson said that the video was authentic but did not want to discuss the company’s macaroni and cheese ploy further. However, the spokesperson did tell The Washington Post that the product is “made offsite with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs.”
The official statement added, “It is shipped frozen to our bakery cafes. This allows us to avoid using preservatives, which do not meet our clean standards.”
Are you surprised by how Panera Bread makes its macaroni and cheese?
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