California has raised the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 per hour to address income inequality.

Panera Bread stands out because it received an exemption from this new law.

Panera Bread is a "fast-casual" restaurant, offering a higher-quality dining experience.

Panera Bread invests in employee training, helping them acquire skills and earn more.

Employees at Panera Bread have clear pathways for career progression.

While Panera Bread's wages don't meet the $20 minimum, their overall compensation packages, including benefits, are attractive.

Other fast-casual restaurants may follow Panera's lead, pressuring traditional fast-food chains.

Consumers are increasingly demanding healthier fast-food options, favoring restaurants like Panera.

Panera's exemption could spark broader discussions about fair wages and industry standards.

Panera Bread's exemption highlights its unique approach and the evolving landscape of fast food in California.