Does Panera Drug Test?

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

March 24, 2022

panera drug test

Drug testing in the workplace is a nightmare if you like unwinding with recreational substances at the weekend. However, testing policies vary from employer to employer, with some cutting you more than slack than others. But what about Panera?

Panera does not drug test during the hiring process. Judging from comments made online, they do not randomly drug test employees, either. Therefore, providing workers do not turn up for a shift drunk or high, there shouldn’t be any issues. Testing only happens if an employee has an accident at work.

While Panera doesn’t seem to bother with drug testing, I still want to cover all bases and make sure you are prepared. In this post, we’ll explore what substances show up on drug tests, the types of tests used, and how to make sure you pass.

Introducing Panera

Panera Bread Company is an American bakery-café, operating more than 2,000 stores in the United States and Canada. Founded by Ronald M. Schaich and Louis Kane in Missouri in 1987, Panera is among the most familiar fast-casual restaurants in the US.

If you are an employee at Panera, you could be working as a baker, sandwich maker, cashier, delivery driver, or manager. The drug testing requirements may vary depending on your position. Let’s break it down. 

Drug Testing at Panera

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Companies typically give little away about how they approach drug testing and how strict they are with enforcing policies. Indeed, if an employer’s testing tactics were public knowledge, they wouldn’t be as effective.

As I dive deeper into how Panera utilizes drug testing, I’ll pick out comments from employees and examine things from Panera’s point of view. Even if we cannot be 100% sure, we can make informed judgments based on common sense.

In-store worker

Good news if you work in-store at Panera as a cashier, sandwich maker, or baker – they won’t drug test you! Whether you are going through pre-employment screening or already have a contract with them, there is no need to worry.

A scroll through Panera’s page on Indeed paints a clear picture. Nearly every user states the company doesn’t drug test, with the only exception being if you are hurt on the job. We can disregard the single isolated comment about random testing.

We can glean more details from a post published on the Panera subreddit in 2021. Multiple Redditors joked that most employees at the fast-casual bakery would be fired if they tested and others even said that their managers smoked pot!

A comment from /u/PhillyDuke, who is a supposed Team Lead, said that Panera cannot afford drug testing right now and needs everyone they can get. That’s an interesting and often overlooked point – drug testing can cost employers more than it is worth.

While drug testing appears largely non-existent, the attitude toward drug-taking may not be the same at every Panera. Some people say they have turned up to work high and it wasn’t an issue; others claim supervisors do care about staff being sober.

I recommend taking time to assess the situation when you start working at Panera. Get an idea of the company culture and if any other employees smoke before deciding how discreet you need to be about your drug use.

However, you might get tested if injured in an accident at work. Your right to worker’s compensation would be affected if under the influence of drugs at the time. And, of course, an employer will look for any possible reason to deny you compensation.

In summary, while your contract may state that Panera has the right to drug test you at any point, the reality is more relaxed. If you are fit to work, do the job well, and aren’t involved in any mishaps, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Delivery driver

Panera may have a stricter drug testing policy for its delivery drivers. After all, the consequences of an accident on the road would likely be much more severe than an accident in the kitchen.

Yet while more rigorous drug testing would seem logical, it might not necessarily happen. On this Indeed page, most comments point toward delivery drivers not getting tested, although a few users say that they are.

Are you thinking about becoming a Panera delivery driver? I would work on the assumption that you might have to take a test. Stay on your guard when starting in the role as that’s when drug tests are most likely to happen.

Manager

You would imagine Panera’s managers face the tightest drug testing rules. But like every other job at the company, their testing policies for managers seem relatively relaxed.

My online searches have thrown up intriguing results. Some regular employees claimed to have worked under managers who were stoned on the job. Comments from team leaders and corporate managers also indicate a lack of testing.

But if you are in such a role, I wouldn’t dismiss the chances of a random drug test. Without an effective team leader, a Panera chain could struggle, hence why the company may take more of an interest in ensuring its managers are clean.

General thoughts

Panera’s drug testing policies may vary from state to state, especially with marijuana. Recreational cannabis is now legal in more than a dozen US states. In those areas, Panera can’t risk being picky – and a bit of THC isn’t a big deal.

But in theory, in states without legal pot, perspectives toward marijuana could be more restrictive. That’s a hunch as far as Panera goes, but it would match up with the state-dependent approach some employers have with cannabis.

What Substances Can Drug Tests Detect?

All drug tests can detect THC, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP. Higher quality forms of screening, such as 9-panel urine tests, can also sniff out benzodiazepines, methadone, and barbiturates.

All tests have a threshold, meaning if you have less of a drug in your system than a certain concentration, you won’t test positive. The threshold ensures that any positive tests conclusively confirm drug use.

For instance, if you were at a bar, you could unwittingly ingest a tiny amount of cocaine without realizing it. While you would then have cocaine metabolites in your system for a period, they would not be present in high enough levels to make you fail a drug test.

Does kratom show up on a drug test?

kratom powder

In recent years, kratom powder, capsules, and other products have emerged as sought-after therapeutic and recreational drugs. But while kratom has an opiate-like effect and induces euphoria, it will not trigger a positive result on a standard drug test.

General drug tests do not have the necessary mechanism to detect mitragynine and other kratom alkaloids. Nor are these alkaloids covered by any of the other drug classes mentioned above.

Testing for kratom may become more common in the future. Indeed, some businesses have anticipated the demand and started manufacturing kratom drug tests. But at this point, testing for kratom isn’t worth the expense for employers.

Does delta-8 show up on a drug test?

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Cannabis lovers may have spotted delta-8, delta-10, and similar hemp-based offerings hitting the shelves. These federally legal products get you high, but the marijuana-like properties sadly extend to making you fail a drug test.

That’s because drug tests aren’t precise enough to look solely for THC. Delta-8 and THC molecules have the tiniest of differences, too minor for a drug test to pick up. Unfortunately, that means tests can detect all these THC-like substances. 

Staying drug test secure with CBD products

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CBD products are so mainstream that they couldn’t possibly make you fail a drug test, right? They often won’t, but the situation is a little more complex, with not all forms of CBD giving you solid drug test protection.

Vitally, it’s not the CBD substance that could be your downfall in a drug test, but the other cannabinoids that may be in them. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound and has markedly different chemical properties to THC, hence its different effects.

But many high-end and more beneficial CBD products contain full-spectrum hemp. These have a full slate of cannabinoids rather than the pure CBD you would find in a CBD-isolate product. And it’s legal for full-spectrum CBD to have up to 0.3% THC.

Inevitably, if you often take substantial doses of full-spectrum CBD, THC metabolites will slowly but surely accumulate in your body. THC lingers in your urine for several weeks, too, creating even more problems.

Notably, many companies selling full-spectrum CBD put out a disclaimer saying they could make you fail a drug test. The only existing research to date on the matter seems to prove it – and that study looked at a CBD product with a minuscule 0.02% THC.

Now, one study does not make for conclusive evidence, but it draws attention to the risks with some CBD oils, edibles, and e-liquids. You don’t need to stop using CBD in fear of a positive drug test, but I advocate switching to THC-free products.

How Long do Drugs Remain in Your System?

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Marijuana: Weed is annoying and notorious for remaining detectable in urine for several weeks, particularly if you smoke daily. However, in increasingly common saliva tests, marijuana use generally becomes undetectable within two days.

Cocaine: Urine drug screenings can spot cocaine use up to 72 hours after consumption and for longer in heavier users. Cocaine molecules may hang around in your saliva for 48 hours.

Opiates: Most opiates only stay in urine for two days, but heroin metabolites can linger in your pee for seven days. Contrastingly, heroin is undetectable in saliva after five hours but can remain in codeine and similar opiates for a couple of days.

PCP: Better known as Angel Dust, PCP metabolites can have a lengthy two-week stay in your urine. But the drug swiftly departs your saliva within 48 hours. 

Amphetamines: On average, Adderall and other amphetamine-based stimulants stay in your urine and saliva for five days. Expect a longer detection window if you take amphetamines every day. 

Types of Drug Tests at Panera

If you look high at work, are involved in an accident, or are plain unlucky, there is a chance Panera could drug test you. Indeed, despite all the comments about testing not happening, we cannot deny that Panera reserves the right to test if so inclined.

Urine

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For decades, the urine drug test has always been the go-to screening option for employers. You urinate in a cup (either in private or under supervision) and your sample will get sent off for analysis – I’m glad I’m not doing that job!

If all is well, you will be notified of a clean test within 24 hours. Unclear results or a likely positive test may take two or three days to come back. You could also be asked to produce another sample. 

Saliva (mouth swab)

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However, some employers have changed to saliva testing, for cost and convenience. These are cheaper than urine tests and it’s easier to analyze mouth swabs on-site.

Saliva tests would also be preferable for Panera, a company less interested in historical drug use and more bothered about whether you have been stoned recently. 

Passing a Drug Test with Detox Products

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If you are worried about failing a drug test, detoxing is your least risky option. Drink plenty of water before your test and consider purchasing a detox product that can rapidly purge drug metabolites from your system. 

Passing a Drug Test with Synthetic Urine

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For those who indulge in recreational drugs daily, a detox drink probably won’t be enough to bail you out. But synthetic urine can keep you ahead of the game.

The finest fake urine products have all the characteristics and ingredients of real pee, fooling the test into registering it as a legit sample. However, some dated synthetic urine brands may not have all the traits needed to guarantee a pass.

If you want to pass a drug test with synthetic urine, practice makes perfect. Make sure you know how your product works and trial it beforehand, or you could give the game away during your test!

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