64: Ron Shaich, Panera founder: Raise the Minimum Wage, Build for the Long Term, and Other Heresies

 
 Panera founder Ron Shaich got started in business when he opened up a convenience store in college, as an act of protest.

Panera founder Ron Shaich got started in business when he opened up a convenience store in college, as an act of protest.

Who doesn't like to eat? Maybe my seven-year-old … he'd rather talk at the table … but the rest of us, when we're hungry, want something right now, and something that's not going to induce a lot of guilt. 

That, in a nutshell, is what has given birth to the fast casual movement over the past 20-plus years, and this week, I want you to join me for my conversation with the father of fast casual, Ron Shaich. Before there was Chipotle or Dig Inn, there was Panera Bread. Founded in Missouri in 1987, it now boasts more than two thousand locations. But Shaich, one of the founders, was selling cookies when he first got into the restaurant business. And he's got some insights to share about the journey.

I got some time with Ron Shaich to talk technology, and quality, and wages, and more. We had half of this conversation on Fortt Knox Live, which you can catch Wednesdays at 2 pm, and see by the way on YouTube, and the CNBC app on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Also, Ron and I kept the conversation going exclusively for this podcast, so there are parts that are new here, even if you watched live.