Panera’s mac and cheese has a loyal and dedicated following. From college students to shopping mall flaneurs, many praise the creamy cheese sauce and smooth shell pasta as one of the highlights at the soup and sandwich chain. Loving Panera’s is mac and cheese is like accepting McDonald’s has the best fries; there’s an unsaid understanding that these menu items are best in class. But also, nobody is under any illusion that Panera mac and cheese is a culinary masterpiece. And if they were, they certainly aren’t now.
Last week, a Panera employee allegedly got fired for exposing the fact that the famous mac and cheese is actually a frozen food product. After her TikTok captioned, “How Panera Prepares Mac and Cheese” showed how the individually packaged servings are plucked fresh out of the freezer and defrosted on-site, using the newly-popular “sous vide” method.
Sadly, TikTok’s growing popularity might have been too much for this young employee, who remains anonymous, to handle. She posted a handful of subsequent videos defending Panera, capped by a tearful plea saying she loves her job. But, the story’s final chapter was told on Twitter, where the TikTok creator revealed that she lost her job over the video.
According to the poster, the original TikTok went so viral it was circulated in the news and reached the corporate headquarters. The poster was then told a week ago that it’d be better if her and Panera “parted ways.” A Panera spokesperson told USA Today that the company “does not discuss personnel matters,” and did not comment on the specific firing.
So, you heard it here first: The adults are on TikTok and they’re watching what you post. TikTok is more meme than most millennials can handle, but don’t let their VSCO girl fixation fool you, they’re slowly creeping onto TikTok and apparently, they’re not taking jokes lying down. So, if you’re going to post about your job or school on TikTok, make sure you’re not easily identifiable and that the content you’re sharing won’t get you or your friends in trouble.