About five years ago I experienced a very tragic loss. Panera Bread stopped carrying my favorite salad, the Tomato Mozzarella Salad. I felt lost. I had no idea what I would order from now on. I made it my mission to try and get the salad back. I would ask the employees how I could influence the chain to bring back this amazing salad. I put numerous cards into their comment box, I signed comment books, and I even went on line and made pleas with them to reconsider their decision to discontinue my favorite lunch item.
I would say I have adjusted pretty well to the loss. I found new "favorites" even though none would compare to the TMS. I settled for items like Broccoli soup and even the Caesar salad, but all the while I pined after the TMS. I would always leave Panera feeling only half satisfied.
I tried to recreate the salad at home, but never could quite get the right combination. There was something about their creamy, fresh mozzerella, the crisp, vine ripe cherry tomatoes, and their sweet and tangy balsamic dressing that made their salad a step above the rest.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw they were bringing the TMS back. I was ecstatic! I wanted to rush right out and get it as soon as I saw the commercial. However, I realized it was 9:30pm and Panera was closed for the night. I would have to wait until the next day to get it. It felt as if an old friend was returning to town after five years.
I approached the counter this afternoon, and smiled at the cashier, "I am soooo glad they finally answered my prayers. You are finally carrying the Tomato Mozz Salad again! I will take it!"
My excitement mounted as I drove to my sister's apartment to enjoy my salad. I opened the bag and thought they had made a mistake and I had picked up someone else's order. I saw a salad, but it did not look familiar. The salad I was expecting had about 15 pieces of mozzarella and about as many cherry tomatoes. The salad I was looking at was NOT my favorite salad. The salad I was staring at was a salad disguised as a Tomato Mozzarella Salad! It was a bed of lettuce with a handful of cucumbers, only a couple slices of tomato, and only three small pieces of fresh mozzarella. I could not understand. I thought they brought back the TMS. I wanted to cry. It was like being told you were getting a nice sports car for your birthday, and getting a station wagon instead.
Now I find myself grieving all over again. I am sure Panera has their reasons for changing their recipe. I am sure the old TMS was not entirely healthy with all of that cheese and was probably not a cost effective item. However, sometimes a company needs to spend a little more in order to make a profit. It is back to the drawing board. I am going to start with the comment cards and e-mails and insist they go back to the original TMS, and until they do, I am on STRIKE!
Well Here's a Huge Update
2 months ago