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Panera Launches New Curbside Pickup Service With Deal for $5 Off

Skip the drive-thru line AND save money.

Courtesy of Panera

Though restaurants have opened in some parts of the country, the vast majority of dining rooms remain closed and curbside pickup is still your best pal -- especially now that Panera has streamlined its own service for increased efficiency. 

The fast casual café has introduced new procedures to make your ordering and pickup process easier than ever, including geofencing technology that will notify employees as soon as you arrive to your location. No need to get out of your car, call the store, or shout from your window until someone, anyone delivers your food. Panera has also extended its WiFi reach outside so you can place your order from the parking lot, too. Skip the drive-thru line and order via the mobile app

As if the convenience weren't enough to inspire a dinner order, maybe this will: you get $5 off an order of $20 or more to celebrate the new curbside service. Just use code CURBSIDE5 at checkout. 

"In these unprecedented times, people are missing life's small comforts, like going out for a meal with family. While we prioritize safety and convenience, we hope that Panera Curbside can be a natural extension of the Panera Warmth inside our bakery-cafes," CEO Niren Chaudhary said in a statement Monday. "In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are. Our latest technology and Wi-Fi capabilities, combined with enhanced protective measures at bakery-cafes, make Panera Curbside a frictionless way to continue to enjoy the Panera experience you know and love."

After you've filled up your virtual cart in the mobile app, update the special instructions section to include your car make, model, and color. If you have your location services on, the app and geofencing technology will automatically notify the café of your arrival. If you haven't updated your settings, you can always tap the "I'm here" button in your app. 

A Panera employee will then deliver your order to the car, but how you receive it is up to you. You can either opt for a direct hand-off or specify that you'd like a contact-free drop-off, in which case the staffer will directly place your food in the trunk. To specify, you'll just update preferences in that same "special instructions" section. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.