Panera CEO Ronald Shaich opened up the first nonprofit branch of his 1,400-plus location restaurant chain in Clayton, Missouri, in 2010. At the time some thought his pay-what-you-want model, in which customers could simply take free food if they needed it, would be a disaster, especially in the midst of America’s hardest economy in decades. Early indications, however, were that Shaich’s idea, officially called the Panera Cares Community Café, might succeed. Now, one year later, people are certain: The free Panera is a hit.

Breaking Bread: Panera’s Pay-What-You-Want Model Is Thriving – Business – GOOD

this makes me want to work at a panera 😛 there’s a new one that’s hiring in my town! *applies*

I think I might have posted this a while ago, but this is a wonderful idea anyway so it deserves reposting.

Wonderful. Reminds me of Starbucks’ “take a book leave a book” stands that I have seen. When given the opportunity to be fair and reasonable on their own, people will do it without being forced or threatened.

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