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One Year after Launching the Pay-As-You-Want and Eat-As-You-Need Concept

A year ago, I discussed Panera Bread’s pay-as-you-want and eat-as-you-need concept to support the company’s initiatives of helping others in need. Now, let’s revisit the topic and see how this “business model” works for a not-for-profit organization.

Featured in today’s MSNBC News video is the interview with Ron Shaich, the Founder and CEO of Panera Bread and the President of Panera Bread Foundation. Over the year, Ron has found that 20% of customers paid more than suggested donation (price), 60% left about the same amount as suggested donation, and 20% paid significantly less than the suggested donation. The business manages to self-sustain and is able to continuously support the community. At this point, Panera Bread operates three not-for-profit stores and plan to build more in the future.

Panera Bread sets another great example of how hospitality companies utilize their strengths and show commitments to the community. During the recession, many people need helps for food and opportunities of acquiring new skills for jobs. What other examples do you see of how Corporate America shows social responsibilities? What innovative ideas do you have of helping Corporate America give back to the community?


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