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Panera Bread palm scanners ‘provide another level of convenience, personalized service’: CEO

Forget your credit card on your next Panera Bread run? No worries, you'll soon be able to pay with the palm of your hand.

The fast casual chain announced the introduction of Amazon One (AMZN) at two St. Louis-based lociations with plans to expand the biometric technology to 10 to 20 more stores near Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. Panera Brands CEO Niren Chaudhary said this sort of technology "provides another level of convenience and personalized service" for guests and is "another one of the firsts from Panera, leveraging technology."

In terms of adoption rate, Chaudhary expects it to "spread pretty quickly."

He told Yahoo Finance, "I just see this as a natural evolution of using biometric technology to drive convenience, loyalty identification, and payment," similar to how it's being used in airports and supermarkets.

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In order to use it, customers need to register for Amazon One and then link their MyPanera account.

In terms of data privacy, Panera does not get any biometric data; it's held by Amazon.

Guest Hand over Amazon One Device at Panera Bread (Courtesy: Panera Bread)
Guest Hand over Amazon One Device at Panera Bread (Courtesy: Panera Bread)

Possible IPO

Back in April 2017, Panera Bread, then under the ticker PNRA on the Nasdaq, was acquired and taken private by JAB Holding Company for $315 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at nearly $7.5 billion, which also included the "assumption of approximately $340 million of net debt," per the SEC filing.

Now known as Panera Brands, with Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels in its portfolio, Chaudhary intends to take the company public at some point.

When asked if there was an opportunity to go public given the uncertainty in the market, Chaudhary said, "I think in the near term, I think it's very hard to think about what the right timing is. It certainly remains our intent, but I think the timing is uncertain."

He added, "We are watching it very carefully, and we will take an appropriate decision at the right time."

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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