Panera Bread Co. is trying to change the way restaurants operate by making a social cause the basis for their new venture. The national bakery and restaurant chain recently launched a nonprofit restaurant in a St. Louis suburb where the only money accepted for the food is donated by the customers.
Run by a nonprofit foundation selected by the people at Panera, the venue (and hopefully more once the model proves workable) has the same menu as other Panera Bread stores, but the money raised through donations goes to supporting the restaurant and opening up other similar venues across the US.
This means that although the prices for the food may be higher than a person can afford, patrons can simply give what they have. I love this concept and I can’t imagine it failing as most people will give what they can. Hopefully this form of business philanthropy will help push others to try to do similar ventures sparking a social revolution that changes the way the food industry works.