Panera's CEO to McDonald's CEO: "Would you really eat your own kids' meals?"

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I feel like this is dangerous territory and set to backfire on them.

Besides the goofiness of the idea of eating a kids’ meal three times a day – which no fast food restaurant encourages in any way – I suspect that if you tallied up the nutritional comparisons, Panera wouldn’t really come out ahead very well. A McDonalds Happy Meal with a burger, apple slices or an orange, and low-fat milk or juice versus a Panera kid’s meal of mac & cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich, and sweetened yogurt isn’t like comparing junk food with health food.


250 items? On a menu for kids? When I was a kid I could handle two, maybe three choices.


My question would be whether Panera’s kid’s menu is also as affordable as the competition.


Having taken my kids to both places it is a push.

the kids meal at a fast food place is around $5 or so and its $6 at panera.


ugh, you have to respect the elegant redirection. Panera doesn’t have a cast of cartoon characters for kids, and they won’t be giving out cute toys, because that all would cost money and undercut their own branding. What is totally Panera brand is to look down on a restaurant that does try to provide a fun experience for kids. And as a parent you can look down on those lesser parents who can’t or won’t pay $4.29 for a PB&J or cold cut sandwich with process cheese (a Happy Meal costs between $2.49 and $3.29)


To be fair, he is asking them if they are hypocrites, rather than whether or not they live up to his personal standards. They are decent questions, and if anybody disagrees they can of course answer accordingly.


$6? Do you have cheaper than normal Panera? Knowing my kid, it would cost me $8 for two items (milk and salad or sandwich). Looking at their menu I don’t see how you can get any two for $6, maybe with a water.

Continuing thoughts - not direct reply:

No one goes to those places because they are healthy per se. It is cheap and fast. I swing by Wendys when possible, as I like their stuff the best. Nuggets and apple and milk isn’t great, but not horrible. I will giver her a few of my fries. Some times she gets a baked potato and apples and milk. Most of them have salads too.

While too much junk food is bad, cheap and easy has its perks for occasional nights out. Just do your kids a favor and dont make it regular.

I am probably one of the laziest parents when it comes to food, and I still try to limit her intake of total junk.


With insufficient attention paid to the different number of inverted commas at each end, given that the line break on the headline was before ‘meals’, I had a WTF moment when I read: “Would you really eat your own kids”


Any headlines about this story should start with “13 Years Later, Panera’s CEO…”

I had a WTF moment when I read: “Would you really eat your own kids”

I’m just asking questions. Questions intended to provoke an emotional response. In answer to you query, they’re written down for me. Now, tell me only the good things you remember about your mother.


I think their full name is Panera Bread, and I’m pretty sure that all modern nutritional research has shown things like bleached white flower (and other carbs) are magical health foods.

Or…maybe not.


The solution to cheap and easy kids food? Mr. Robot!

That red apartment is where Eliot lives. When my kids and I are in NYC we walk to this area and hit the dumpling places, including this one. You can often score a meal of freshly-made dumplings for about $1-2 per serving.


The poor and disenfranchised can’t consider Panera as a realistic food option for their kids. PB&J is $4.29, add soup for another $4.39 and a drink for $2.09 and you’re in the hole for more than $10.


“On All-Natural White Bread.”

Pretty sure that’s an oxymoron. I don’t think bread comes from the ground that way…


Yeah, at age 6 I would’ve been at Panera for half an hour, trying to figure out my perfect combination of soup, sandwich, and desert.

The “250 item” thing is super misleading, actually. They get that number by saying they can sell a “kids’ portion” of any normal menu item, and then apparently include every possible variation of every menu item they have.

And to be fair, if the CEO’s argument was “hey, McDonalds has three kids’ meal options and we have 250! You’ll never get bored!”, I’d agree. But his challenge implies that every other fast food place is selling deeply unhealthy food that no human would want to eat for 7 days in a row or terrible things might happen (kind of like the premise of Super Size Me).

Nooooo way. You’ll probably pay double, easily.


Why that whole movie is based on bad science.

He states in the first 15 minutes he doubled his caloric intake for the film. If he had doubled his caloric intake of homemade foods he would have had nearly the same issues. (Besides maybe the increased salt intake depending on how he cooks).

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oh yeah, that wasn’t meant to be an endorsement of the movie, just a comment on how this “fresh, bold” advertising gimmick is pretty tired already…

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Well, first off water…yes. I do not let them get sugary drinks often, and we are not a big milk drinking household. Water or Alcohol are the preferred drink choices in the house.

Honestly my 3 are older now and all of them tend to get an adult type meal anyway at places such as this. My daughter (16) likes the signature Mac n Cheese meal. Its $5.19. Bread and piece of fruit which she doesn’t eat. Not saying it can’t be more than $6, just an average.

"Would you really eat your own kids’ meals?"

The Frankenstein of fast food is Chicken McNuggets.

Super Size Me

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