Panera Cares

The way a company handles a sensitive situation, like granting a request to a customer who is dying of cancer, can spread like wildfire. If a company is insensitive, they get a bad rap, quickly. On the other hand, a nice gesture can do a lot to bolster a company’s great reputation. An employee of Panera Breads did something very simple and very nice, and because of Facebook, news of it is becoming a hot topic on the ol’ internet – and it’s picking up steam.

Here’s what happened: Last week, a man named Brandon Cook in New Hampshire was visiting his grandmother in the hospital. She is dying of cancer, and she said all she wanted was a bowl of clam chowder from Panera. Brandon went to his local Panera – who, for some reason only sells clam chowder on Fridays – and asked if it was possible to get some on an off day. The manager said that would be fine, and Brandon’s grandmother got her chowder soon after. Brandon’s mother posted the story on the Panera Facebook wall, and in very little time it garnered more than 500,000 likes.

A company’s Facebook page is a great place to post quick, informative ads at the low cost of nothing. Of course, those ads are usually only seen by people who have clicked ‘like’ on the brand, but sometimes that can be in the millions, and that’s pretty influential. When a story like Brandon’s comes along, the company’s Facebook page is advertised via news stories and Twitter posts, and as such more people flock to like the page.

On the same day that Brandon’s mother posted the story, Panera posted the photo above.

That could be a coincidence, but it’s still great advertising!



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