Ever wonder how Panera Bread puts together their highly-praised mac and cheese? It’s really pretty simple. According a viral video posted to Tik Tok, the mac and cheese is pre-made and frozen and simply dropped into boiling water and then thrown into a bowl for the customer.
An employee recently posted a video of her making the Panera mac and cheese and the clip went viral on Tik Tok and later Twitter. The employee said she was fired for posting the behind-the-scenes procedure.
“Lol I lost my job for this,” she tweeted after the video went viral. The former employee gives a thumbs up at the end of the video. The caption on the video is “exposing panera.”
Check out the clip below:
Apparently, this is how Panera Bread prepares the mac and cheese. (via TikTok) pic.twitter.com/jUv47TYBhm
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) October 11, 2019
After a bevy of criticism on social media, Panera Bread defended its product to The Washington Post. Confirming the authenticity of the video, the company said the mac and cheese is “made offsite with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs.”
“It is shipped frozen to our bakery cafes — this allows us to avoid using preservatives which do not meet our clean standards,” the company added in their statement.
While many were upset to discover Panera Bread is serving up frozen mac and cheese, others were not so shocked and more surprised that people expected mac and cheese from scratch from the chain restaurant.
What would you rather them do…? Issa chain
— joseph (@Jslivs_) October 11, 2019
I work at a grocery store deli, this is how we prepare mac n cheese, spaghetti, casserole, and soup. I would not expect Panera to actually scratch make Mac lol
— Dr. Violet Quagsire, PhD, Idiot Studies (@CQuagsire) October 12, 2019
Fast food restaurants don’t have fresh food made from scratch??? pic.twitter.com/NS404EwXW3
— Maple baby (@Jujubeetch) October 12, 2019
That’s literally how most fast food prepares their food.
— uhhh ceci (@caabezona) October 11, 2019
And if they made it from scratch they will get complaints because they didn’t make enough for the day… And it’s time consuming… And it will cost a lot more.
— Pisces (@PRETTYxPISCES) October 11, 2019
Pretty much any restaurant that has more than 3 locations is gonna get their food in a bag.
— the lactation lad (aka the milk man) (@tgscott666) October 12, 2019
Still, others were not impressed with the process Panera uses to make their mac and cheese and were not afraid to say it’s a bad look for the company.
Someone at Panera should be fired for feeding us gruel
— Ed Gradascevic (@EdGradascevic) October 14, 2019
Wait, it’s frozen?
— I’m a Loser✌️ (@mfhanauer) October 14, 2019
They know we can see straight through to the kitchen from the drive up window at many locations, right? When I saw this happening one time, I told my husband who LOOOOVVVEESSS Panera, and he straight up didn’t believe me. He was so disappointed.
— Mary Haas (@mehaas50) October 14, 2019
I want Panera bread but i saw a video that they just warm up their Mac and cheese so now I’m turned off
— JanelK (@_KingBeauty_) October 27, 2019
I want a video of how my favorite Panera Bread Mac and Cheese is made BEFORE it gets sealed in a baggie for microwaving/heating-up at the restaurant bakery ? https://t.co/3ZvD5CyDKX
— samantha (@yagirlsv) October 6, 2018
The criticism and video may shine a bad light on Panera and its mac and cheese, but it’s unlikely to make a major dent in the product’s popularity. Panera has reported that it serves more than three million mac and cheese servings every month.
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