Thursday, 01 August 2013 19:08

Panera Bread to Build Drive-Thru

Written by Patricia Older
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Architectural rendering of the Panera Bread drive-thru installation. Photo provided. Architectural rendering of the Panera Bread drive-thru installation. Photo provided.

WILTON — Panera Bread will be taking over the entire building where they are located at Exit 15 and building a drive-thru where Giovani’s Pizzeria is presently located. 

Tony DiSanza, project manager for Panera’s said the 4,645 square foot building will soon have a drive-thru on the south side of building and the same menu offered inside will be available at the drive-thru. 

“It will be the same full menu we offer on the inside of the café,” said DiSanza, adding that the creation of the drive-thru would create a few more jobs, but he was unsure of the actual number. 

The drive-thru will come off of Lowe’s Drive and will loop behind Panera’s northern side and can hold up to nine cars at a time. 

According to the building plans submitted to the town of Wilton, if the drive-thru becomes a problem and traffic backs up they are willing to discuss the matter. 

The document states: “If the town determines that traffic problems arise with cars stacking on Lowes Drive associated with the drive-thru lane, [Panera] agrees to meet and discuss potential solutions with the planning department within 30 days of [Wilton] notifying them.”

The building plans also note that the drive-thru is expected to operate 15 hours a day and serve approximately 255 cars a day (17 an hour,) with a maximum of 302 cars a day (20 an hour,) with a wait time of three to five minutes each. 

“The average que from greeting to exit is three to five minutes,” states the document. 

DiSanza said that Albany already has several cafés with the drive-thru, but that only one in Colonie had the drive-thru built after the initial café was constructed. 

The addition of the drive-thru will eliminate two parking spaces and some of the landscaping on the backside. 

In addition, the interior of the existing restaurant will remain virtually the same with only some minor changes to the restroom area. There will be no additional seating area, or kitchen expansion. 

DiSanzi was not sure when they would be able to begin construction as the application still has to go through the planning board and the present tenant of the space, Giovani’s, has to move.

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