Covelli Enterprises Named Panera’s Franchisee of Year

WARREN, Ohio – Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, announced today that it has received the “Franchisee of the Year” award from Panera Bread LLC. The award was presented March 8 in front of thousands of Panera operators, managers and corporate support staff gathered for the company’s “Family Reunion.”

The event is hosted every five years to highlight the growth of the brand, recognize successes and discuss its future direction.

The franchisee of the year designation is given to a company based on operational excellence, market/real estate growth, café openings, market acquisitions and financial metrics. Covelli Enterprises continually receives more awards than any other franchisee in the area of operations and sales, which was showcased once again with the presentation of this prestigious award, Panera said.

“I have never been so proud in my entire career,” said Sam Covelli, owner and CEO of Covelli Enterprises, in a statement. “I am humbled that Panera, honored our organization. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our leadership team, our management and our associates. We have the absolute best employees in the restaurant industry and I look forward to continuing to grow our company with these truly amazing people.”

Covelli Enterprises also received awards for largest sales increases, most café openings and highest café sales. The company operates more than 300 bakery-cafés in six states. In 2016, it donated more than $28 million to charity through unsold bread products for local hunger relief agencies and monetary donations to other nonprofit organizations.

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