Fast Casual:

Panera Bread has stepped up its use of target-marketing initiatives to drive traffic and sales, specifically focusing on its MyPanera loyalty program and brand messaging.

The company’s MyPanera loyalty program now has more than 11 million members, said chairman and Co-CEO Ron Shaich during the company’s July 24 Q2 earnings call.

“This program is designed to increase affiliation with our customers and build deeper relationships. However, the real power of the loyalty program is its ability to capture real-time customer behavior data, which is allowing us to more smartly evolve our product offerings and improve our marketing to each individual customer,” said Co-CEO Ron Shaich during the company’s Q2 earnings call.

Marketing is one of four investment areas the company is focused on to increase sales.

“The effort to build a real marketing function and build up a real marketing strategy has been a multi-year effort for us and it has started to pay dividends,” Shaich said.