Atlantic’s Charlotte office began its relationship with Panera Bread in 2014, representing the local operator in select South Carolina markets. Following an acquisition by a larger operator, the assignment quickly grew to include North Carolina and select markets in Georgia.
As the franchisee rapidly expanded with well-performing stores, the challenge became finding new spaces. Panera’s initial market entry had already hit the major markets in the region. With so many of the primary markets already covered, the company was left searching for space in secondary and tertiary markets in order to continue its growth. Panera’s site requirements of 1.5 acres, drive-thru service, and 70+ parking spaces can be hard to come by, especially in smaller markets. The Charlotte team worked around this by getting creative: assembling properties, utilizing Panera’s flexibility as a tenant and their willingness to do different types of leases as situations dictated.