Where does inspiration come from?
Well, ok, that was a pretty open ended question. But when it comes to bakeries--especially bakery chains--it's a particularly fascinating question to me.
So it is very interesting to me that Panera is very open with their product development methodology--it seems like a lot of companies are very secretive-slash-Willy Wonka-esque about this process. But right on the site there's a video about their breadmaking process (embedded at the top of the post) "inspiration" process:
Joking aside, I love the fact that they have these informational videos on their site--I truly wish every company would do this! I love getting the backstory, and find it extremely heartening that a large chain can find it possible to still have a soul and a story.