Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) announced Monday (7 May) an agreement with Edward W. Doherty of Doherty Enterprises in Allendale, NJ, to open 20 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Doherty is scheduled to open his first bakery-cafe by March 2002.

An experienced franchise operator, Doherty Enterprises currently owns 25 Applebee’s, two Chevys and nine Wendy‘s restaurants.

Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Ed Doherty is a seasoned franchise executive who knows the Long Island market. He has a long history of success in the restaurant industry and as a franchise operator. He operates the highest-grossing Applebee’s in the nationwide chain, and the sales volumes of his Applebee’s, Chevys and Wendy’s restaurants consistently exceed the national average of their respective concepts. We are very pleased that Ed has agreed to develop the Long Island territory for Panera Bread.”

Like Panera Bread, Doherty Enterprises is a community-oriented organization that participates in local community and charitable activities. As an Applebee’s franchisee, Doherty Enterprises raised $100,000 for the U.S. Marine’s Toys for Tots Foundation during the holiday season.

Ed Doherty, chairman and chief executive officer of Doherty Enterprises, said, “We are pleased to be part of the Panera Bread family and are looking forward to opening the Long Island market. We have found that Long Island residents are open to new eating experiences, especially high quality concepts. Panera Bread bakery-cafes are ideally matched to Long Island tastes.”

Prior to starting Doherty Enterprises, Doherty worked for Marriott Corp. for more than ten years in development, marketing, franchising and management positions. He ultimately served as Vice President of Marriott’s Family Restaurant and was responsible for its 1,200-unit Big Boy division.

Panera Bread owns and franchises bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names. The company is the leader in the emerging specialty bread/cafe category due to its unique bread combined with a quick, casual dining experience. As previously reported, as of December 30, 2000, 262 Panera Bread bakery-cafes (including four specialty bakery-cafes) were operating in 28 states (90 company-owned and 172 franchised bakery-cafes). Additional information is available on the company’s website,

Matters discussed in this news release, including any discussion or impact, express or implied, on the Company’s anticipated growth, operating results and future earnings per share contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (identified by the words “positioned,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend,” “expect,” “future,” “anticipates,” and similar expressions) which express management’s belief, expectations or intentions regarding the Company’s future performance. Moreover, the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements due to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and could be negatively impacted by a number of factors. These factors include but are not limited to: the ability of the Company to aggressively expand its business going forward is subject to the availability of sufficient capital to it and the developers party to franchise development agreements with the Company. Additionally, the Company’s operating results may be affected by many factors, including but not limited to variations in the number and timing of bakery-cafe openings and public acceptance of new bakery-cafes, competition and other factors that may affect retailers in general. These and other risks are detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC reports, including Form 10K for the year ended December 25, 1999.