ST. LOUIS — Panera Bread Co. is enhancing its to-go service with the launch of Panera Curbside, a new geofence-enabled technology service that automatically alerts the bakery-cafe chain upon a customer’s arrival.

As part of the new technology, Panera said it has extended its free Wi-Fi radius beyond its cafe doors and into its parking lots. With the addition of geofencing, for those customers who opt-in, the bakery-cafe will be notified automatically when the customer arrives. Customers who don’t opt in for the service are able to alert the restaurant of their arrival by tapping the “I’m here” button in the MyPanera app or order confirmation email upon arrival.

“In these unprecedented times, people are missing life’s small comforts, like going out for a meal with family,” said Niren Chaudhary, chief executive officer of Panera. “While we prioritize safety and convenience, we hope that Panera Curbside can be a natural extension of the Panera Warmth inside our bakery-cafes. In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are. Our latest technology and Wi-Fi capabilities, combined with enhanced protective measures at bakery-cafes, make Panera Curbside a frictionless way to continue to enjoy the Panera experience you know and love.”

Panera has been offering curbside service at its locations without a drive-thru since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the service, including geofencing technology, is available at all locations, the company said.

In April, Panera launched Panera Grocery, a new service offering consumer staples like milk, bread and fresh produce as well as soups, salads or sandwiches. Products may be ordered through the chain’s app or website and may be collected via contactless delivery, pickup or drive-thru.