Restaurant chain Panera Bread has joined a growing list of companies asking customers not to bring firearms into their locations amid the controversial debate over guns in the United States.
“Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth,” the company said in a statement. “This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”
In an interview with CNBC, Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich said that the chain will continue to follow state and local firearm laws. He added that his company would not ask employees to enforce the request, or place signs in its nationwide locations.
“We’re certainly not going to put our associates in the position of confronting someone carrying a gun,” he said. “We won’t put our café management in the position of being law enforcement.”
As CNBC points out, Panera Bread’s announcement follows similar requests from other major chains such as Starbucks, Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s, Target and Jack in the Box.
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