from the trying-it-all-out dept
While I'm intrigued with how this will work out, I'm not convinced it's going to be a success (though I'd be pleasantly surprised to find out I'm wrong). The whole thing is actually set up separate from Panera, via a non-profit foundation, which Panera is supporting. The restaurant won't use the Panera name, but St. Louis Bread Co. Cares, which apparently was the company's original name. I would guess that many people will feel guilty enough to pay the list price, though some will obviously pay less. I doubt very many (if any) people will really pay much extra, which puts the operation in a tricky position. Since we're talking about food and salaries, there are real scarcities to deal with in terms of expenses, so a "pay what you want" model seems like it would have difficulty scaling.
Still, as business models go, it's one worth watching.