The caption of the video sharing app TikTok: "Exposure to Panera."
The clip brought a wave of grip last week from disillusioned customers in a chain known for "fast casual" serving typically perceived as a step over quality fast food. Commentators said they expected more than heated food from frozen dishes, or – as one critic put it – "glorified hospital food."
But the fallout went both ways, the woman said behind the video, announcing Friday via her newly famous Twitter account : "lol I lost my job for this."
Panera spokeswoman Bread Jessica Hesselschwerdt declined to discuss personnel matters, but told The Post that the company has confirmed the authenticity of the TikTok video. In a statement, the company defended its cooking methods, explaining that its mac and cheese is still an obedient Panera product “made on the spot with our own developed recipe developed by our chefs.”
“It is frozen frozen to our bakery cafes – this lets us avoid to use preservatives that do not meet our clean standards, "the company said.
Many restaurants are reluctant to admit to warming frozen foods. After a survey of French restaurants found a third recognized to serve frozen goods, some in the industry said that the true number was probably higher because "chefs were embarrassed to admit the shortcuts that truly reflect the customers," as The Post reported.
Panera often joins popular chains like Chipotle and Shake Shack under the label "fast casual." Fast casual dining "offers consumers freshly prepared, higher quality food in an informal setting, with counter-service f and to keep things fast, "explains the Investopedia website.
"The two racks in the American restaurant industry were always fast food and good food, but now the fast-growing fast-food sector has been squeezing in," the website adds, although it notes that the industry is still dwarfed by traditional fast food companies that McDonald & # 39; s.
For some critics, the TikTok video's depiction of mac and cheese preparation contradicted Panera's image. Others, however, were less surprised, and chimed in with their stories of food chains from other chains. And some felt justified.
"I've said before that Panera bread Mac and cheese is rubbish, and here's the proof," posted a Twitter user .
Then it was the people who declared that they love Panera mac and cheese anyway – and wondered what all the fuss was about.
"That's how almost all chain restaurants cook and serve food," one person commented. "It's called efficiency."
"OMG PANERA BREAD MAC AND CHEESE IS FROZEN ??? I WANT MY MONEY BACK! "Another joked and suggested that people were foolish to believe that the meal, listed online for $ 6.99 for a large bowl, was painted on the ground from scratch.
also popular. Panera serves more than 3 million mac-and-cheese servings every month, according to the company.
The identity of the woman who posted the video is unclear, and she did not respond to a request from The Post.
Her latest tweets suggest a silver lining in the alleged firing, which has provided even greater publicity: "since it blows up again, follow on social media," she said Saturday.