I don't know about you, but after cooking so much over the past few days for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wouldn't mind ordering out for the next few days.

When I order out, I don't always want to eat something bad, though. Sometimes, you just don't feel like cooking. That's perfectly okay. What's unfortunate about Atlantic and Cape May counties, though, is that if you're choosing to order out, you're probably not ordering the healthiest food. Sure, Chipotle isn't the WORST food you can have, nor is pizza. But, there just aren't a lot of semi-healthy options in this area. For example, do you know what restaurant I really wish had at least one location in eastern South Jersey? PANERA!

It wasn't until moving to Atlantic County that I realized there are no Panera Bread locations down this way. Panera's delicious, so it blew my mind that there isn't even a location in Mays Landing or somewhere centralized like that. I could REALLY use one in this neck of the woods this week. I DEFINITELY don't feel like cooking tonight. I don't want junk, though, either. I can't be the only one in this area who feels that way, can I?

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Then, I got to thinking about it and realized that the reason we don't have a Panera Bread location down here is probably the same reason we don't have a Trader Joe's or a Wegmans: the economy.

Panera Bread isn't insanely expensive, but it's definitely pricier than your average sandwich shop. Atlantic and Cape May Counties always get looked over when it comes to restaurants and grocery stores that are considered a "step-up" from the average. For whatever reason, potential franchisers and developers don't foresee a solid return on their investments. It's always about money.

Is there any way to know that's the actual reason that Panera Bread hasn't expanded into this part of Jersey? No, of course not. Still, I bet my assumption isn't too far off from the truth.

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