Whether you go to Panera for freshly baked bread, soup and seasonal salad or something else, like popular mac and cheese, the menu at the fast-casual restaurant is understandable, prepared quickly.
ALSO SEE: Copycat Panera Bread Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
The company states on its website that they "believe that good food, food you can feel good about, can bring out the best in us all," but a former employees' recent posts on social media have prompted some to question that view.
TikTok user @briannaraelenee (Brianna Ramirez) posted the video "how Panera prepares mac and cheese" on the music and lipstick on the social media platform with the caption "exposes Panera" set to a man laughing.
The shell-shaped paste with creamy cheese sauce comes from the freezer in a vacuum-sealed bag, is immersed into boiling water, removed, opened and coated.
At the time of publication, her video had more than 945,000 likes and nearly 9,000 comments.
The comments from other TikTok users were shared.
"That's how most fast food restaurants prepare the food," said one person, suggesting the preparations so that the food can be served hot in an instant.
"I mean … it's still good," replied another.
But others seemed intensified by the notion of flash freezing goods for consistent cooking.
"For the price this is dishonest from Panera, they are just a well-designed McDonald's with luxurious prices," someone wrote.
The company did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, but previously told The Washington Post that they "confirmed the authenticity of the TikTok video."
Panera Bread defended their product for The Washington Post, saying that mac and cheese is, "made out of place with our own developed recipe developed by our chefs." [1
After the video went viral, the same TikTok user posted a series of videos in response to the backlash to defend the practice of warming frozen foods and delivering a tearful excuse.
"I like my job, I really try not to get fired," she said.
She shared the news on Twitter on Friday that she lost her job, claiming it was because of the original post.
When someone answered questions about how the restaurant looked, she said "it went viral and ended up on the news where I live."
Panera has not commented on Ramirez's employment status.
Ramirez did not immediately respond to ABC News & # 39; request for comment.
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