The US owner and franchiser of bakery-cafes, Panera Bread Company, has made an agreement with John Wolfgang Nelson and Dwaine Setzer to open 14 outlets in northwest Atlanta and Georgia.

Nelson and Setzer, who are scheduled to open their first bakery-cafe by the end of 2002, own Blue Ridge Foods, an 18-unit Burger King franchise in east Tennessee. Setzer has been associated with Burger King since 1975. Nelson has 20 years of food industry experience and is the majority owner of ten TGI Friday’s units in North Carolina, South Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.

Todd Smith joins Nelson and Setzer as their operating partner. He has managed full-service casual dining restaurants since 1982 and now serves as president of Nelson’s TGI Friday’s franchise group. Smith is also a member of TGI Friday’s Franchise Advisory Council.

Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and CEO said: “The depth of experience that John, Dwaine and Todd bring will be a significant asset to us as we further develop the Atlanta market. We are pleased to partner with such an established and capable team.”