Panera Bread is implementing palm scanners, which the company claims will make it ‘easier’ for customers by linking their fingerprints to their loyalty accounts and allowing them to use their palms as a form of contactless payment.
Panera is using Amazon’s palm-scanning or cashier-less checkout technology which is being used in more than 200 establishments in and outside the company.
“Today, Panera Bread announced its planned rollout of Amazon One as a loyalty identification for MyPanera, its industry-leading loyalty program with 52+ million members, and a contactless payment method,” the company announced Wednesday.
“The technology is deployed at select bakery-cafes in Panera’s hometown of St. Louis with plans to expand to additional locations in the coming months. Panera is the first national restaurant company to use Amazon One as both a way for guests to pay and access their loyalty account with their palm,” it added.
In addition to allowing workers to welcome customers by name and inform them of available rewards, the gadgets will also help suggest menu items based on customers’ purchase histories, the company claims.
The company also claimed that customers’ biometric data is “securely stored and protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device.”
Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, referred to the change as a “frictionless, personalized, and convenient” upgrade to the company’s loyalty program.
Panera is the first national restaurant to use Amazon One for its loyalty identification and payment.
Read the press release:
Amazon One will bring an even more personalized touch to the Panera dining experience. Guests who link their MyPanera account to Amazon One will enjoy the convenience of fast payments, as well as tailored meal recommendations from Panera associates based on their preferences and previous orders. 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. When they are done ordering, guests can simply scan their palm again to pay.
First-time Amazon One users can pre-enroll online or sign up when placing their Panera order in the bakery-cafe. It takes a minute for a Panera guest to link their credit card and MyPanera account to their Amazon One ID. If a Panera guest has previously enrolled in Amazon One at Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market or other locations such as airports and stadiums, they will not need to re-enroll at Panera – they simply link their MyPanera account to their Amazon One ID online or in store. Enrollment in Amazon One is voluntary and includes opt-in consent, and guests can choose to use Amazon One for loyalty linking, payment or both.
“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 and Panera Brands. “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.”
“With one of the largest and most successful loyalty programs in the country, Panera wanted to make it even easier for its guests to access their rewards and have a more customized café experience,” said Dilip Kumar, Vice President, AWS Applications. “We’re proud to collaborate with Panera on the rollout of Amazon One and elevate the guest experience by providing a simple, fast, and effortless way to complete their order so they can spend more time enjoying their meal.”
As a leader in digital in the restaurant industry, Panera Bread is committed to providing innovative tech-driven solutions for its guests. Guest participation is opt-in only and Panera does not store personal palm data.
Any private and personal data shared via Amazon One is securely stored and protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. All images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where palm signatures are created. Amazon One is an optional service. For more information, visit Amazon One’s website.
Concerns have been raised that government agencies or hackers may tap into data.
“Federal agencies like Customs and Border Protection have experienced devastating hacks where large databases of biometric information have been stolen,” Fight for the Future told CBS MoneyWatch in an email. “Do we really expect Amazon, or Panera, to have better cybersecurity practices?”