Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Panera Bread Power Outage

My sister and I went to Panera Bread for lunch this past Friday, which was a rather rainy day. Just as we were placing our order, the power went out. We waited in line for several minutes as the power flickered off and on multiple times. Each time the cycle occurred, the huge stack of pagers on the counter would flash and beep, jumping around as if in frantic excitement.

Finally I asked the manager how long she would wait before declaring the power gone and closing the doors. She asked if I had cash, and I said, "No, I actually have a gift card." She shook her head and explained that they couldn't process any plastic without power. She then turned to the clerk who had been taking our order and told him to write down orders for everyone currently in line. Looking back at me she said, "If the power happens to come back on while you're still here, please come back up and pay for your food. Otherwise, enjoy your lunch."

So we happily ate our lunch in the slightly eerie glow of the emergency backup lights. I guess we had some fortuitous timing...we left Panera Bread with full tummies and my gift card still full too, cool!

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