Here's an interesting look at Panera and their strategy. The attached story includes the following statement from Panera Executive Chairman Ronald Shaich:
"The best time to grow is in a recession. The worst time to grow is in the boom days... The classes of 2009 and 2010 will ultimately go down as some of the highest (return-on-investment) cafes we've ever built. Construction costs and real estate costs are lower, while sales volumes are higher."