Source: Panera.

Something isn't working right at Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA.DL) these days. Sales growth is down, transaction volumes are dipping, and the company is seeing customers walk out of many of its locations during peak traffic hours.

In the video below, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos argues that Panera's issue isn't with its brand or its food. Instead, the company has created a major operational challenge for itself: It has overwhelmed its kitchen with complex menu options and has swamped its staff with an inefficient to-go ordering system. Of course, competition from the likes of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) isn't helping matters.

Still, Panera wouldn't be having these operational issues if it weren't attracting record numbers of customers to its stores, Demitrios says. And that should give the company a much-needed boost as it works to get its throughput levels back up to par.

Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Panera Bread and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Panera Bread and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.