Panera Bread Hit with Boycott Calls After Gavin Newsom’s Minimum Wage Exemption Is Exposed

Panera Bread Hit with Boycott Calls After Gavin Newsom’s Minimum Wage Exemption Is Exposed

California’s new $20 minimum wage bill contains a curious exemption that is creating calls for a boycott of the fast casual chain Panera Bread.

As reported by Newsweek, California’s FAST Act, which mandates that fast food establishments in California raise their minimum wage from $16 to $20 per hour, attracted some confusion regarding the oddly specific exemption for restaurants that bake and sell their own bread.

While California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his representatives insisted that the law “was the result of countless hours of negotiations with dozens of stakeholders,” others wondered if there was another, less laudable reason for the exemption.

Further sleuthing unearthed that possible reason, suggesting a connection between the exemption and one of Newsom’s donors.

According to anonymous sources, Newsom shares a long and lucrative political friendship with Panera’s California franchise owner Greg Flynn, who has donated upwards of $160,000 to Newsom’s causes and campaigns over the years.

Newsweek attempts to give Newsom the benefit of the doubt, claiming that, since Panera mixes its dough off-site before baking it in-store, it probably won’t fall under the exemption, which stipulates that said bread must be baked “on-site.”

Still, the connection between Flynn and Newsom is too convenient to be dismissed so easily.

In light of this revelation, many folks are calling for a boycott of Panera Bread on the social media platform X.

One user shared the New York Post’s story on the matter, with the caption “Boycott Panera Bread?” while others were more decisive, posting calls to action like “Boycott Panera Bread. Do it,” and “Guess I will be adding Panera Bread to my boycott list.”

Now, it is important to note that the Flynn-Newsom connection only extends to this one franchise owner in California and not the entire company.

That said, the strange exemption included in California’s bill is either an example of nonsensical government regulations, or a blatant instance of corruption from Newsom.

Flynn even penned an op-ed in a California political publication preceding the enactment of this bill, arguing against the idea of raising the minimum wage at all.


In light of the thousands of dollars in campaign funds Flynn has donated to Newsom for almost a decade, is it any wonder people are disinclined to give Newsom the benefit of the doubt in this case?

The real question is, though, will a boycott of Panera Bread end up having a significant impact on this whole situation?

Knowing how liberal California tends to be overall, most likely not.

But, if it ends up catching on, one thing it could do is draw more attention to what should be a bigger story.

And if it doesn’t hurt Panera financially, it might at least hurt Newsom’s reputation.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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