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Panera now selling groceries after losing business due to COVID-19 pandemic

The popular café has launched Panera Grocery, which will sell staple items to customers for pickup or delivery orders.

With some grocery stores across the country struggling to keep necessities like milk, bread and produce in stock, Panera is stepping in to fill the void.

The popular café has launched Panera Grocery, which will sell staple items to customers for pickup or delivery orders. Customers can order items like fresh fruits and vegetables, loaves of bread, and dairy products like milk and yogurt.

Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary told CNBC the chain lost half its business once its dining rooms closed. Panera Grocery was created out of need for people to get necessities and for the business to stay afloat.

"It's a win for our associates because we will be able to keep our cafés open longer, and it's great from a business standpoint because it should be incremental profit and revenue for us at a time when we desperately need it," Chaudhary said.

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Order meals or groceries from Panera online or on the mobile app. Not all locations are offering grocery items. Find Panera locations nearest you here.

Credit: AP
A Panera Bread store is shown Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in downtown Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)