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Panera Bread drive-thru in East Amherst moves one step closer

Panera Bread moved one step closer to installing a drive-thru window at its restaurant on Transit Road in East Amherst after the town's Zoning Board of Appeals signed off on the plan Tuesday.

The project at 8200 Transit Road, north of Maple Road in Benderson Development Co.'s Eastview Plaza, required an area variance from the Zoning Board. Panera would have eight stacking spaces total in the drive-thru, but only four after the menu board. The town code requires six spaces from the menu board back.

Panera Bread plans drive-thru window at Transit Road site in East Amherst

Zoning Board members initially said they didn't think the Bohler Engineering representative had provided enough data on drive-thru usage at comparable Panera Bread restaurants.

But Eric Thein, the company's area operating manager, said the five area Panera Breads that have drive-thrus never back up more than eight vehicles, allaying the board's concerns.

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