Panera Bread will use Amazon’s palm readers for payment, loyalty program

Amazon One tech will appear at two Panera Bread cafes in St. Louis with plans to add more locations in the coming months.
Connor Perrett
A customer waves his palm above an Amazon One device in a Panera Bread.
  • Panera Bread is the first restaurant to adopt Amazon One technology. 
  • Using their palms, customers can pay for their meals and access their MyPanera loyalty benefits. 
  • Panera is the first national restaurant to adopt the technology. 

Panera Bread will use Amazon One technology at two locations near its headquarters in St. Louis. 

According to a release sent to Retail Leader, Panera will adopt the payment tech, which allows customers to wave their palms over a biometric palm print scanner to pay for goods or services. The technology launched to Panera customers at select locations in St. Louis on March 22, and the restaurant chain plans to roll it out to more stores later this year, the release said. 

Panera is the first national restaurant to adopt Amazon One tech, which was first introduced by the e-commerce giant in 2020. In addition to using their palms for payment, Panera customers will also be able to link their MyPanera rewards cards to access the restaurant’s loyalty program.

“Collaborating with Amazon Web Services to bring this service into our bakery-cafes is a natural extension of the tech-forward, guest-centric digital thinking that Panera is known for,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, in the release. “Our philosophy has been centered around leveraging best-in-class technology to create a better Panera experience and using that to deepen our relationship with our loyal guests. Introducing Amazon One, as a frictionless, personalized and convenient service, is another way we’re redefining the loyalty experience.”

Panera says Amazon’s tech will help personalize the experience for consumers — at a time when personalization across retail is key. Panera’s employees will offer meal recommendations tailored to a customer’s Panera history that’s unlocked when a customer scans their palm. 

“After a simple scan of the palm, Panera associates will be able to greet guests by name, communicate their available rewards, reorder their favorite menu items or take another order of their choice, extending the guest experience into a true and meaningful relationship,” the release said. 

To coincide with the Panera partnership, Amazon has also launched pre-enrollment for Amazon One. First-time Amazon One users can go to Amazon’s pre-enrollment website where they can create their profile and input their credit card information. Then, when they get to Panera or anywhere else that has Amazon One tech, first-time customers will use a QR code received during the pre-enrollment process and will link their palm to their Amazon One account. Customers who don’t pre-enroll can complete the entire registration process at Panera. 

In addition to the two Panera locations, Amazon One tech, which like its Just Walk Out tech is aimed at reducing friction in the checkout process, is available at other retail locations, including some Amazon Go, Fresh, Style and Whole Foods Market stores. It’s also available at two pickup-only Starbucks locations in New York City, at Hudson Nonstop stores in select airports, and at sporting event and music venues.

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