Panera Expands Pay-What-You-Want Concept

Nicely done.
Nicely done. Photo: Panera

It’s been three years since the chain introduced its awesome optional-payment cafés, which help fight hunger and instill a feeling of shared responsibility in local communities. Panera’s reshaping its original idea by offering one pay-what-you-want item, a bread bowl of turkey chili, in all of its 48 St. Louis locations — and the rest of the 1,600 outposts in the country might be next. The all-natural, antibiotic-free, 850-calorie item offers almost a day’s worth of nutrition, and its suggested price is $5.89. The CEO has found that most people are generous, with the exception of some “well-to-do frat boys.” It’s even more impressive that Panera hasn’t wasted money on self-serving advertisements about its do-gooding. Kudos. [AP]