Panera Bread's CEO Wants Companies to Reexamine Their Kids' Meals
Usually a mix and match of greasy fries, mystery meat nuggets, or some meat and cheese between a bun, today's kids' menus are some of the least healthy fast food options around. But Panera Bread, the fast-casual chain that is known for touting high quality foods and a 'clean' menu, is hoping to change all that.
Panera Bread's CEO, Ron Shaich, recently released a video with a challenge to the CEOs of fast food restaurants. In the video, Shaich points out how the combination of foods on most kids' menus are high in calories, fat, and sugar. He then challenges executives in charge of these chains (specifically calling out Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King) to eat off their kids' menus for a week.
Shaich's challenge comes in the wake of Panera Bread expanding their kids' menu, now offering half size versions of sandwiches and salads from the main menu. For side options, kids have the choice of an apple, organic yogurt, or a sprouted grain roll. Each kid's meal is also automatically served with water, but parents can pay an upcharge to get drinks like organic milk or juice.
While not every item on Panera Bread's menu is ideal — their mac and cheese clocks in at almost 500 calories and contains an astounding 1,230 milligrams of sodium — those looking to for healthier dining out option for families will likely be excited by this expansion of the children's menu.