Panera is a staple in the entrepreneur world. Anyone and everyone who works for themselves, ends up at a Panera eventually. Good food, good coffee, great sandwiches and soups, and free WiFi.
However, since not all Paneras are made the same, we wanted to showcase three we use frequently for meetings and such.
Sanford Location: This location is situated just a few hundred from the Sanford Super Target, in a mini strip-mall corner location. The outside patio seating is unique in the sense that you are facing the parking lot and it does wrap around the corner. There are no outlets outside, and only 4 available outlets inside. The service here is always top notch and I've never had an issue using Wi-Fi, nor any bandwidth issues.
Lake Mary/Heathrow: This location is located on the corner of Lake Mary Blvd and International Parkway. There are 6 power outlet locations that I could find, however this one is frequently jam packed. So you have to time yourself right or make sure your battery is topped off before leaving the house. The service here is typical, and I've had two issues with their WiFi, having to ask the manager to reset the router. :
Lake Mary Blvd: Oddly, this location has the least outlets, and worst seating arrangement of all three, yet I seem to prefer it over all. Could it be it's proximity to my gym? I don't know. With only 3 outlet locations I could locate, and a very busy atmosphere, it's rear access is great if you just intend on using WiFi for the day without purchasing anything. Plus you can use the bathroom without worrying about your stuff getting stolen. Although the same could be said for all three locations, as they are located in mostly crime-free areas.
Moving onto Bojangle's Chicken and Biscuits. You are probably wondering how this place could possibly be a hub for entrepreneurs. Can't blame you.
First off, their food is delicious! Second, they have power outlets within reach of nearly every seat or booth in the house. Third, their WiFi is ultra fast and VPN friendly. I have no problems signing into my company's corporate VPN at this location. Unlike Panera, where their firewall blocks access to several remote access sites I use. Pretty lame if you ask me.
Bojangle's also has the best service of any 'fast food' restaurant I've ever been in. Everyone there is kind, courteous, helpful, patient when I'm indecisive, and friendly! If my order is delayed, I get a free size upgrade. If I'm there for a few hours, a sweet older woman comes by and gets me a refill, even though I tell her she didn't have to.
Bojangle's business model is something all fast food joints could learn from. Promote positive customer service and get repeat clients like me. I may only spend $5 each time I go, but with service like that, I'll be there three times a week for lunch and WiFi and bring friends.