Panera Bread hiring over 400 in region, expanding West Chester site

Available positions including restaurant managers, bakers, catering coordinators, delivery drivers and hourly associates to accommodate recent growth.

“We are thrilled at the recent growth we’ve been experiencing in the Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky region,” said Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises. “It has allowed us to provide more and more opportunities for employment within our organization.”

Covelli Enterprises is the fifth largest restaurant franchisee in the nation with more than 300 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida and Canada. In April, it acquired 21 Panera Bread bakery-cafe locations that employ nearly 1,000 people in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.

Four of those locations are in Butler County, including Gilmore Road in Fairfield, Princeton Road in Fairfield Twp., Civic Centre Boulevard in West Chester Twp. and Voice of America Centre Drive in West Chester, according to Melanie Murray, regional marketing director for Covelli Enterprises.

A recent hiring event in West Chester Twp. netted the hire of four new managers in training and approximately 30 associates, but the company needs more, Murray said.

Recent and rapid growth means the expansion of the location at 7725 Voice of America Centre Drive from 5,139 square feet to 6,184 square feet to handle the region’s growing catering business, she said.

“The catering needs are just so large in that market, so we really want to free up more space so our people have more room to work, more room to prepare the product,” Murray said.

The restaurant’s additional space will mean the addition of 15 more tables in the dining room, she said.

Construction should be complete by mid-summer, Murray said.

Benefits for managers include comprehensive medical and dental, 401(k) and profit sharing, paid vacation and a bonus program six times per year, according to Alex Wallace, market recruiter for Covelli Enterprises.

Hourly employees get half-price food during their shift and have ample room for growth, Wallace said.

“Pay is all based on experience for all positions so there is a wide range,” she said. “We do hire minors for their first job. I have found many high school students think that we will not hire them.”

Also the single largest franchisee of Panera Bread in the world, Covelli Enterprises employs more than 25,000 people and continues to grow, with a current focus on growth in the Southwest Ohio market, Murray said.

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