Along with the fresh, new dining hall sit-in and take-out options, the College Avenue campus recently brought another eatery to the table: Panera Bread. The new eatery took the place of Au Bon Pain (affectionately nicknamed ABP), which was right next to the Rutgers Student Center for years.
The Rutgers student population voiced an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward this change. Although the two facilities provide similar tastes, options and atmospheres, Panera Bread seems to have truly won over the hearts of the students.
“I think that it was a good decision for Rutgers to replace Au Bon Pain with Panera because Panera has always been a more popular place for the students of our age group,” said Payal Parekh, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. “I personally love their food a lot more due to their fresh quality and taste.”
Au Bon Pain offered a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups and breakfast items, though it only had slight differences in the menu compared to Panera Bread. ABP bakery offered a wider selection of pastries, including croissants, bagels, muffins, scones, tarts, cookies, danishes, cupcakes, brownies, cakes and rolls, but it had very similar options to Panera. With not much to differ, Panera Bread has risen above, proving to be the more favorable, especially for those who live on College Avenue.
Michelle Ciepiela, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said that Panera is more likely to succeed on campus.
“It has more locations. It’s widely spread and known well," she said. "Panera grew to have a bigger name in the past couple years.”
Even Panera has its downsides, Ciepiela said, especially when it comes to price because certain Panera items can be more expensive than their ABP counterparts.
Although Au Bon Pain will live on in the hearts of Rutgers students, it’s time to accept that the first-years of today’s age will know and love Panera as the new place to go to when Brower’s infinite cereal options get old.