Panera becomes first restaurant to roll out Amazon One technology

Steven Loeb · March 22, 2023 · Short URL:

MyPanera members will be able to both pay and access their rewards in-store via a palm scan

The Amazon One logo and the MyPanera logo side-by-side on a dark green background.In 2020, Amazon introduced Amazon One, a system that connects the palm of a person's hand to a credit card, meaning they can scan it to pay at a store, or present a loyalty card. It can also be used for entering a location, such as a stadium, or badging into work.

At first, Amazon One was available in Amazon Go stores but the company has since expanded it into a number of Whole Foods stores as well as stores insides airport, while also partnering with ticketing company AXS to use it at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver.  

Now the company is entering a new segment, announcing its first customer in the restaurant segment via a partnership with Panera Bread, which will allow the 52 million members of the MyPanera loyalty program to access their account and pay in-store with their palm. 

In addition, Amazon also announced a new online pre-enrollment feature, meaning consumers can join before going to a store. They need an Amazon account, a mobile number, and a credit or debit card to can create their Amazon One profile online, then they can then complete the enrollment process at any location that offers Amazon One by scanning their palm and using the code they received during pre-enrollment.

When a customer scans their palm at Panera, an associates will be able to show them their available rewards and reorder their favorite menu items. Guests who link their MyPanera account to Amazon One will also get meal recommendations based on their preferences and previous orders.

"The MyPanera integration with Amazon One addresses a major pain point for the restaurant and retail industries: customers sometimes choose to skip loyalty programs because they prefer to get in and out with their purchase, rather than deal with the sign-up and redemption processes. For new guests who choose to sign up for MyPanera using Amazon One, enrollment is easy," Dilip Kumar, Vice President of AWS Applications, wrote in a blog post.

"Similarly, redeeming rewards often requires customers to open a sub-menu in a mobile app, find email vouchers, or remember to bring physical coupons–all of which are time-consuming and inconvenient. Now, Panera guests have the option of hovering their palm over an Amazon One device to load their MyPanera account alongside personalized rewards that Panera provides based on their preferences."

So far, the Amazon One technology is being use at two Panera stores in St. Louis, at the Town and Country and Bridgeton locations, but there are already plans to expand to additional locations in the coming months.

“Collaborating with Amazon Web Services to bring this service into our bakery-cafes is a natural extension of the tech-forward, guest-centric digital thinking that Panera is known for,”  Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and Panera Brands, said in a statement.

“Our philosophy has been centered around leveraging best-in-class technology to create a better Panera experience and using that to deepen our relationship with our loyal guests. Introducing Amazon One, as a frictionless, personalized, and convenient service, is another way we’re redefining the loyalty experience.”

Since its inception, Amazon One has come under scrutiny by lawmakers due to its use of biometric data. In August 2021, a bipartisan group of senators, including Amy Klobuchar, Bill Cassidy and Jon Ossoff, wrote an open letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy demanding information about the company biometric data collection practices.

“Amazon One users may experience harms if their data is not kept secure. In contrast with biometric systems like Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID or Samsung Pass, which store biometric information on a user’s device, Amazon One reportedly uploads biometric information to the cloud, raising unique security risks...Data security is particularly important when it comes to immutable customer data, like palm prints," they wrote.

Amazon, for its part, states that Amazon One is "protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the device. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure, custom-built area in the cloud where we create a unique palm signature. We do not share your palm images with anyone."

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