Bread-based fast-food chain Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA) is launching pasta nationwide.
The chain has been testing pasta dishes on a regional basis for two years, reports Nation’s Restaurant News. The dishes will be in all 1,652 restaurants around the country by the end of March.
Three pasta meals will be added, tortellini alfredo, pesto saccottini and rustic penne Bolognese. They will come in two sizes and include a half salad or cup of soup. The new meals are a part of Panera’s 2013 expansion of its meals.
“For more than two years, we have been at work developing several high-quality pasta offerings that fit within our production system and complement our soup and salad platforms,” said Chair and CEO Ronald Shaich in a release.
The firm has seen great success in the last year with same-store sales increasing 4.9%. The growth is partly attributable to the chain encouraging customers to trade up from lower-priced meals to higher cost items.