A Guide to Panera Fundraising and Two Other Great Fundraising Options

Posted by Bennett Slavsky

Panera fundraising is a fun, easy, and delicious way to raise money for your organization. You have loved the bread bowls, gourmet sandwiches, and mouth-watering pastries for years, but did you know Panera Bread is able to give back to its pastry-loving-patrons by hosting restaurant fundraisers? This post will guide you through the process and benefits of fundraising with Panera Bread, as well as look at two other awesome fundraising options!

Panera Fundraising

If you’re not already familiar with the restaurant fundraiser, here’s how it works: you select a date and time, tell all members/supporters/friends/family of your organization to gather and share a meal together in that allotted time, and when all is said and done the restaurant will donate a percentage of the total bill back to your cause or organization. Simple and fun.


Panera fundraising is an ideal option for all kinds of groups. With a wide variety of flavors to appeal to all tastes, an extensive Eat Well, Your Way vegan/vegetarian menu, a warm atmosphere, and speedy preparation times, a fundraiser at Panera could satisfy everyone from busy college students to hungry little league teams. With 2,000 locations nationwide, there is sure to be a venue near you!

Panera Fundraising: a great excuse to enjoy their hearty soup bowls

If Panera fundraising seems like a good option for your organization, visit their fundraising site here to submit a request. Just select a location, date, and time, and fill out information about your organization. You must submit your request at least 10 business days prior to your desired fundraising date. After you submit a request, Panera an email with a flyer that you will need to distribute to your supporters. Each organization is limited to one fundraiser every 30 days.


On the day of your fundraiser, each of your supporters must provide the flyer when paying for their meal so the restaurant knows who is a fundraising participant. After the fundraiser, Panera will donate a whopping 20% of the total bill to your cause within 6 weeks, and all you had to do was share a meal with your fellow supporters!

McAlister’s Fundraising

McAlister’s Deli is yet another classic offering restaurant fundraisers, which they organize through GroupRaise to make planning and hosting fundraisers super easy. McAlister’s serves up a wide variety of gourmet sandwiches and their famous sweet tea in a 1950’s-style diner with a twang of Southern hospitality. Often located in college towns, the large portions and inexpensive menu is sure to satisfy everyone on your club sports team or fraternity/sorority.


But of course the fundraising isn’t limited to college students. McAlister’s warm atmosphere welcomes all groups and all causes with food that will delight all taste buds! McAlister’s has more than 140 participating locations to choose from.

If McAlister’s fundraising sounds like a good fit for your cause, CLICK HERE to find a McAlister’s near you and submit a request. It takes just one minute to make a request: choose a location, date, and time, and fill out your cause’s information. The request must be submitted at least 14 days in advance to give the restaurant time to get in touch with you and prepare for the event, as well as to give you plenty of time to promote your fundraiser and invite guests. There is no limit to the number of fundraisers one group can have.


On the day of your event, there is no need for flyers, just have your supporters say that they were a part of the fundraiser upon paying and that money will go to the total bill. After the fundraiser is done, McAlister’s will donate back 20% to your cause within 4-6 weeks of the event by sending a check to the address you’ve provided.



Schlotzsky’s Fundraising

Schlotzsky’s Cafe and Bakery is one more cafe/deli favorite that are looking to give back to their customers through restaurant fundraisers. Schlotzsky’s has been famous for more than 40 years for The Original sandwich, but has since extended their menu to dozens of signature sandwiches, artisan flatbreads, mouth-watering pizza, soups, salads, and of course their baked goods.

Schlotzsky's Brisket

Schlotzsky’s extensive menu and speedy cook time is sure to please all eaters and offers a great atmosphere for any group looking to fundraise. They accept all causes from schools to Scouts, sports teams to church groups. Schlotzsky’s has more than 340 locations on GroupRaise.


If Schlotzsky’s seems like the way to go, the process to book a fundraiser is identical to McAlister’s. CLICK HERE to find a location and submit a fundraiser request. Again, the request must be submitted 14 days prior and there is no limit to the number of fundraisers per group.


During the fundraiser, the participants do not need to show flyers, simply state that they are a part of the fundraising group. After the event Schlotzsky’s will donate 15-20% (depending on the location) of the total bill to your cause within 4-6 weeks!



Here’s a lowdown on McAlister’s, Schlotzsky’s and Panera fundraising.

Percent of sales donated:

  • Panera Bread: 20%
  • McAlister’s: 20%
  • Schlotzsky’s: 15-20%

Time before donations received:

  • Panera Bread: 6 weeks
  • McAlister’s: 4-6 weeks
  • Schlotzsky’s 4-6 weeks

Amount of time before event to submit a request:

  • Panera Bread: 10 days
  • McAlister’s: 14 days
  • Schlotzsky’s: 14 days

Fundraiser frequency:

  • Panera Bread: 1 fundraiser per 30 days
  • McAlister’s: no limit
  • Schlotzsky’s: no limit

How supporters participate:

  • Panera Bread: must have flyer
  • McAlister’s: let server or cashier know they are fundraising
  • Schlotzsky’s: let server or cashier know they are fundraising

Number of locations:

  • Panera Bread: 2,000+
  • McAlister’s: 140+
  • Schlotzsky’s: 340+

How’s the food?

  • Panera Bread: delicious
  • McAlister’s: delectable
  • Schlotzsky’s: delightful

Need More Options?

CLICK HERE to find even more restaurant fundraising options in your area!