How Much Does Panera Pay Workers In California?

With its fresh bakery items, customizable sandwiches and salads, and free Wi-Fi, Panera has become a go-to spot for many. If you’re looking for work or considering a job at Panera in California, you probably want to know – how much does Panera pay in the Golden State?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Entry-level team members at Panera in California typically start around $15 per hour, a few dollars above the state’s minimum wage. exact pay rates vary by location and position.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share details on typical Panera hourly wages, salaries, benefits, and more for California locations. We’ll cover pay ranges for entry-level, shift supervisor, assistant manager, and general manager roles.

We’ll also discuss how pay compares to competitors and factors that influence earnings like tips and experience.

Average Hourly Wages at Panera in California

Entry-Level and Line Cooks

Entry-level positions at Panera in California, such as line cooks, offer competitive hourly wages. According to recent reports, the average hourly wage for entry-level positions at Panera in California is around $12 to $15 per hour.

However, it is important to note that wages may vary depending on location, experience, and other factors.

Shift Supervisors and Baker/Cafes

Shift supervisors and employees working in the baker/cafes department at Panera in California can expect higher hourly wages compared to entry-level positions. On average, shift supervisors earn around $16 to $18 per hour, while employees in the baker/cafes department may earn anywhere from $14 to $17 per hour.

These wages are in line with industry standards and reflect the level of responsibility and expertise required for these roles.

Assistant and General Managers

For those in management positions at Panera in California, such as assistant managers and general managers, the average hourly wages are significantly higher. Assistant managers can earn around $18 to $21 per hour, while general managers may earn upwards of $25 per hour or more.

These positions require extensive experience and a strong understanding of the restaurant industry, making the higher wages justified.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are approximate and can vary based on several factors, including location, tenure, and performance. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on Panera’s pay rates in California, it is always recommended to visit the official Panera Bread website or consult with the company directly.

Salary Ranges for Management Roles

When it comes to management positions at Panera in California, the salary ranges can vary depending on the specific role and level of experience. Below, we will take a closer look at the salary ranges for two key management positions: Assistant Managers and General Managers.

Assistant Manager Salaries

Assistant Managers at Panera in California can expect to earn a competitive salary. On average, the salary range for Assistant Managers falls between $40,000 and $55,000 per year. However, it’s important to note that this range can vary based on factors such as location, years of experience, and individual performance.

Assistant Managers play a vital role in overseeing daily operations, managing a team of associates, and ensuring a positive customer experience. They are responsible for tasks such as scheduling, training, and maintaining high-quality standards.

With their dedication and leadership skills, Assistant Managers contribute greatly to the success of Panera’s operations in California.

General Manager Salaries

General Managers hold a higher level of responsibility within Panera and are rewarded accordingly. The salary range for General Managers in California typically falls between $60,000 and $80,000 per year.

This higher salary range reflects the increased level of accountability and the broader scope of their role.

General Managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the restaurant’s operations, including financial management, team development, and ensuring customer satisfaction. They play a key role in driving sales, controlling costs, and maintaining the Panera brand’s high standards.

Their leadership and strategic decision-making skills are essential for the success of the restaurant.

It’s worth noting that these salary ranges are approximate and can vary based on a variety of factors. For the most accurate and up-to-date salary information, it’s always best to visit official Panera career websites or consult with HR representatives.

Benefits for Panera Employees

Health Insurance

One of the key benefits that Panera offers its employees in California is health insurance. Panera understands the importance of providing healthcare coverage to its workers, and as such, they offer a comprehensive health insurance plan.

This plan includes coverage for medical, dental, and vision expenses. Employees can rest assured knowing that they have access to quality healthcare options to meet their needs and the needs of their families.

Retirement Savings Plans

Planning for the future is essential, and Panera recognizes this by offering retirement savings plans to its employees. Through these plans, employees have the opportunity to save for their retirement, ensuring financial security in their golden years.

Panera may offer options such as 401(k) plans, where employees can contribute a portion of their salary, and Panera may even provide matching contributions to help grow their employees’ retirement savings even faster.

Employee Discounts and Paid Time Off

Panera values its employees and believes in rewarding their hard work. One way they do this is by offering employee discounts. Panera employees in California can enjoy discounted meals and other perks while working or even when they visit a Panera location on their days off.

Additionally, Panera provides paid time off to its employees, allowing them to take a break and recharge. This paid time off can be used for vacation, personal days, or for unforeseen circumstances.

How Panera Pay Compares to Competitors

When it comes to the wages of its workers, Panera Bread is known for being a competitive employer in the food industry. Let’s take a closer look at how Panera’s pay compares to some of its major competitors in California.


Starbucks is a well-known coffee chain that also offers a range of food options. In terms of employee compensation, Starbucks has a reputation for being one of the best in the industry. According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a Starbucks barista in California is around $13.50.

This is slightly higher than the average hourly wage at Panera Bread.


Chipotle Mexican Grill is a popular fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican cuisine. When it comes to employee pay, Chipotle is known for offering competitive wages. According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a crew member at Chipotle in California is approximately $12.50.

While this is slightly lower than Starbucks and Panera, it is still considered to be a competitive wage in the industry.


Subway is a well-established sandwich chain with numerous locations across California. When it comes to employee compensation, Subway is known for offering varying wages depending on the location and job position.

According to Indeed, the average hourly wage for a Sandwich Artist at Subway in California is around $11.50. This is slightly lower than both Starbucks and Panera Bread.

While Panera Bread may not offer the highest wages compared to some of its competitors, it is important to consider other factors such as employee benefits, work-life balance, and career advancement opportunities.

Panera Bread is known for providing a positive work environment and opportunities for growth within the company.

Ultimately, when choosing a place of employment, it is important to consider various factors beyond just the hourly wage. Factors such as company culture, work-life balance, and opportunities for advancement can also greatly impact job satisfaction and overall compensation.

Factors That Can Influence Earnings

When it comes to determining how much Panera pays its workers in California, there are several factors that come into play. These factors can have a significant impact on an employee’s earnings and can vary from one individual to another.


Location is one of the key factors that can influence how much Panera pays its workers in California. Wages can vary depending on the cost of living in different cities and regions within the state. For example, employees working in cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles may earn higher wages compared to those working in smaller towns or rural areas.

This is due to the higher cost of living in larger cities.

Experience and Performance

Another important factor that can influence earnings at Panera is an employee’s experience and performance. As with any job, individuals who have more experience in the industry or who have been with the company for a longer period of time may be eligible for higher pay.

Additionally, employees who consistently perform well and meet or exceed expectations may also have the opportunity to earn more through performance-based incentives.


Tipping is common in the food service industry, and Panera is no exception. Workers at Panera may receive tips from customers, which can contribute to their overall earnings. While the base pay for Panera employees is determined by factors such as location and experience, tips can provide an additional source of income for workers.

It’s worth noting that tipping policies at Panera may vary and can be influenced by local laws and regulations.

For more detailed and up-to-date information on how much Panera pays its workers in California, individuals can visit the official Panera Bread website or consult resources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics.

These sources can provide specific wage data and help individuals better understand the factors that can influence earnings at Panera.


Working at Panera in California can be a good opportunity, especially for those new to the workforce. While wages start modestly above minimum wage, there’s potential to earn more with experience and move into management roles.

Benefits and perks like discounts, 401k plans, and flexible scheduling also sweeten the deal.

When considering hourly pay and overall compensation, Panera fares well compared to similar dining establishments. By understanding the pay structure and average earnings at Panera, you can determine if the wages align with your financial needs and career goals.

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