No. 21 Panera Bread

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No. 21 Panera Bread

The sandwich chain kept hours steady for workers while other restaurants trimmed back, and despite the recession, it is testing out a new cash bonus program for hourly employees while expanding a program for long-term management incentives. Happier employees lead to more repeat customers, who helped Panera (PNRA) score a 2% traffic increase in the third quarter, while market researcher NPD Group reported U.S. restaurant traffic down 4%.