Panera's charitable cafe is catching on with St. Louis diners

10/5/2010 | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Panera's test of a pay-what-you-can cafe in St. Louis has been catching on with patrons since its launch four months ago, so much so that the company plans to launch two more locations in the coming months. The eatery has hit the break-even point as 65% of patrons pay the suggested price for their meals, while between 10% and 15% kick in extra to support the 20% who can't afford the full price, says Executive Chairman Ron Shaich. "There are people who game it. ... But most people are fundamentally good."

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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