There is an excellent recent Wall Street Journal article interviewing Ron Shaich, co-founder of Au Bon Pain and Panera Bread Co.
Despite the whole carb conscious world, the chain with the word “Bread” in it is doing pretty well. Panera Bread has revenue of $1.3 Billion, and Business Week also listed it in its list of Hot Growth Companies.
In the interview, Ron discusses the ways he financed his first store, and most importantly how he specifically noticed opportunity various times.
Shaich’s advice to entrepreneurs:
“It’s not about starting a business. It’s about solving problems. That’s what being an entrepreneur is. Find a problem that there’s a better way to solve. Get a vision of how it could work better, and stick with it.”
Ron Shaich Interview located HERE.
Similar to my earlier post on franchises, Panera can be franchised (yet at a hefty sum) for anyone fitting the criteria of “Net worth of $7.5 million / Liquid assets of $3 million”