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Podcast: Must Listen

Trendspotting: Panera, Cava, and Beyond


Some business leaders have a seemingly psychic ability to spot trends, and take them mainstream at just the right moment. Ron Shaich is one of those. As a pioneering force behind fast-casual dining, Shaich saw that a growing number of Americans craved higher quality food in a relaxed yet speedy setting. His first major company, Au Bon Pain, paved the way for the meteoric rise of Panera Bread, with more than 2,000 locations nationwide. An accidental start running a convenience store first showed Ron the power of business to enact change. And his curiosity about trends and pattern recognition has fueled the growth of his businesses for decades. These forces have led to Ron Shaich upending how we eat like few others.