You Should Never Get Pasta From Panera. Here's Why

If you want a fresh, quick salad to-go, it's hard to beat Panera when it comes to convenience and flavor. Many locations even have a drive-thru, making it that much easier to get your favorite salad, soup, or panini pronto. The brand is beloved by many customers, who often frequent the eatery for it's anti-GMO guidelines, and melt-in-your-mouth warm bread. However, there might be some interesting facts that even die-hard Panera fans don't know about their favorite chain.

A Panera employee took to TikTok to post a video of how its creamy macaroni and cheese is made. The clip shows a person picking up a plastic sealed bag that appears to be filled with pasta and proceeds to put it in a boiler. The person then removes the bag, cuts it open with scissors, and put it in a bowl that is ready to serve (via Today). Many viewers were left horrified with one commenting "And that's the last time i [sic] order Mac and cheese from Panera." Another wrote, "This is why i have never been there. I don't want glorified hospital food for $$$."

Panera also reheats other pasta

Eat This, Not That! also confirmed this mac and cheese prep method to be true with former employees. In addition, they discovered that every pasta dish is heated up in a microwave before it's served. "It's all microwaved, this includes mac and cheese," said one employee. While some customers may be shocked by this revelation, not everyone who learned of this was concerned that Panera doesn't make their pasta from scratch each day. One commenter to the TikTok video said, "That's how almost all chain restaurants cook and serve their food. It's called efficiency."

Apparently this is a common practice for large chains, who are serving a lot of food and want to keep the meals consistent. "Mac and cheese is made offsite with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs and using our sourced ingredients that meet our standards for our clean menu offerings," a Panera spokesperson told Today. "It is shipped frozen to our bakery cafes — this allows us to avoid using preservatives which do not meet our clean standards."

So, if you want your pasta made from scratch after you order it, it looks like you'll have to go somewhere other than Panera.