The food at the Essex Green Panera is about the same as any other locations--what you would expect.
It is a nice place to meet people, and we often go there for coffee and breakfast on a Saturday. It's nice to see people we know there, and many are regulars who go there to congregate, chat, meet, and work. West Orange desperately needs places like this because the downtown leaves something to be desired--not much there, kind of shabby, not much parking. So Panera has become a bit of a community meeting place, and I like it for that reason.
I must say, however, that the service is absolutely dismal. Long lines form for no good reason--just a lack of efficiency. The service staff are generally nice and mean well, but they are often not too competent. Coffee runs out and isn't replaced in a timely fashion. The place needs some good management.
We will still go there because it is a friendly place to see people and relax before the rest of the Saturday chores, but it sure would be nice to have more efficient service that we have enjoyed in West Caldwell or Florham Park.
We like the Panera rewards card, but that applies to any location.
They try at Essex Green, but it just could be a lot better.
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