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Panera Expects to Hire 25K Employees: Exec Shaich

Panera Bread plans to hire 25,000 employees in the coming year, bucking a trend playing out across the economy, the company's executive chairman, Ron Shaich, said on CNBC Wednesday.

"I would say our growth is expanding, we're up 50 percent in terms of its rate of growth vs. last year," Shaich said. "These are very good times for Panerabread."

On Tuesday, Panera reported second-quarter profit that beat expectations, but the company forecast lower-than-expected earnings for the current quarter.

Still, Shaich pointed out that Panera's same-store sales were up 9.9 percent in the second quarter.

"This is third quarter of near double-digit comp store sales," Shaich said. "People are voting with their feet, voting with their wallets."