Business Watch: New owners purchase Topeka Panera location

Topeka’s Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe, pictured, has sold along with 33 other restaurants in the area to Flynn Restaurant Group LP. (Google Maps)

Topeka’s Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe has sold along with 33 other restaurants in the area to Flynn Restaurant Group LP.


Flynn subsidiary Pan American Group LLC purchased 34 Paneras in Kansas and Missouri from Wichita-based Original Bread Inc.

This acquisition cements Pan American Group’s position as the second largest Panera Bread franchisee, increasing its unit count from 96 to 130 locations,” a release said.

Flynn Restaurant is the largest restaurant franchise operator, and one of the 50 largest foodservice companies of any kind, in the United States. Its subsidiary Apple American Group LLC is the largest Applebee’s franchisee, and its subsidiary Bell American Group is the third largest Taco Bell franchisee. Overall Flynn Restaurant Group owns and operates 881 restaurants in 30 states, generating $1.9 billion in sales and directly employing approximately 42,000 people.

Stay safe and hydrate

The blistering heat in recent days serves as a reminder of the dangers created when employees work outside or in hot spaces inside.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration pushed a “Water. Rest. Shade.” philosophy in an attempt to keep employees safe.

“Employers can take a few easy steps to prevent heat illness including scheduling frequent water breaks, allowing ample time to rest, and providing shade,” said Kimberly Stille, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City.

Frequent breaks in a cool or shady environment are important, as is drinking water every 15 minutes.

“OSHA also urges employers to allow new workers to acclimate and build up resistance to the increased temperatures,” a release said. “A recent study of heat-related workplace fatalities found that most occurred during the worker’s first week on the job.”

In Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, there were 13 heat-related hospitalizations and seven deaths associated with heat exposure between Oct. 1, 2014, and April 28, 2017.