The grand opening for a Panera Bread restaurant and bakery that will feature a drive-thru for customers is set for Aug. 21 in Waynesboro, according to the franchisee and owner of Panera Breads western Virginia, Blue Ridge Bread.
The new Panera will be located at 1101 Red Top Orchard Road, just off Lew DeWitt Boulevard. The renovated location previously featured a steakhouse, seafood restaurant and Oriental restaurant.
Lauren Perpetua, the marketing director for Blue Ridge Bread, said the Waynesboro Panera location will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and expects to hire about 50 employees. She said associates and shift supervisors are now being hired.
The Panera menu will feature salads, sandwiches and soups as well as specialty breads, bagels and pastries. The hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
As part of the opening ceremonies, Panera Bread will collect donations that will be given to Waynesboro's Wildlife Center of Virginia. Some of the Wildlife Center animals will be present at the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Aug. 21.
Adam Jackson, the COO of Blue Ridge Bread, said "we are so happy to be a part of the Waynesboro community, and team up with the Wildlife Center of Virginia."
Panera Bread is located in 40 states and now has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.