The company spokesperson defended the way the mac and cheese was prepared clarifying that their mack and cheese is a patented Panera brand product which is prepared offsite using Panera's proprietary recipe which has been developed by its own chefs. "I will eat our mac and cheese to this day".
The initial response to the video was shock - and mockery at people who didn't know Panera's food came frozen.
The employee later reiterated on Twitter that this was not a case of wrongful termination and her firing was "completely justified".
"It is shipped frozen to our bakery cafes - this allows us to avoid using preservatives which do not meet our clean standards", the statement concluded.
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"The two stalwarts of the American restaurant industry were always fast-food and fine dining, but now the rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant sector has squeezed in between them", the site adds, though it notes the industry is still dwarfed by traditional fast-food companies such as McDonald's. He ended up getting in hot water with his boss - though maybe not as hot as the mac and cheese water.
The person responded, saying she wasn't saying anybody shouldn't eat the mac & cheese and that it's "perfectly fine". And some felt vindicated.
By now, you've probably seen the viral TikTok of a Panera Bread employee "exposing" (as her caption reads) how the fast food chain prepares their macaroni and cheese.
"I've said before that Panera bread Mac and cheese is garbage, and here is the proof", a Twitter user posted.
Panera ranked in the Top 10 earlier this year as one of the top 10 US chains, outpacing Pizza Hut for the No. 10 position.
For her part, the woman behind the video said she wouldn't be commenting any further on the situation. "I like my job, I'm really not trying to get fired", she said in one.