They aren’t on the main menu at Panera Bread locations, but there are new dishes available at all 1,625 of the chain’s cafes — if you ask for them.
According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the “hidden menu” is not meant to be so secretive. It sounds as if it’s really more of a way the company can test the popularity of these dishes before they spend the time and money to have them placed permanently on the main menu.
From the Post-Dispatch: “It’s a funny thing,” mused Scott Davis, the chain’s chief concept officer. “Some people have thought about it like it is a secret menu. But that’s not the case. It’s hidden because we’re not doing the usual menu placement and other ancillary work.”
There are six items on the menu, which is likely to be on a laminated sheet at the cash registers if you ask. The items are all geared toward customers who are looking for low-carb, high-protein breakfasts and lunches. And we can all agree that Panera is not usually the place we think about when we’re looking for a low-carb meal.
The items are:
Power breakfast egg white bowl with roasted turkey (180 calories; 25g protein), the power breakfast egg bowl with steak (230 calories; 20g protein), power chicken hummus bowl (330 calories; 33g protein), power Mediterranean chicken salad (360 calories; 35g protein), power Mediterranean roasted turkey salad (320 calories; 22g protein), and the power steak lettuce wrap (280 calories; 28g protein).
The new menu has been marketed through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The January 9 tweet that started much of the buzz: #DidYouKnow we now offer a Hidden Menu? Check out our fresh twist on some of your favorite menu items. bit.ly/XkbqMs
The new menu is available at both the Electric Road Panera Bread and the Valley View Panera Bread in Roanoke.