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Home / Carpe Diem / Who-d a-thunk it? Panera’s utopic pay-what-you-want restaurant model didn’t work? – Publications – AEI

Who-d a-thunk it? Panera’s utopic pay-what-you-want restaurant model didn’t work? – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Who-d a-thunk it? Panera’s utopic pay-what-you-want restaurant model didn’t work? Panera’s Utopic Pay-What-You-Want Restaurant Dream Is Dead? Nine years after introducing pay-what-you-can restaurants to several U.S. cities, Panera Bread is admitting defeat and closing down its last remaining non-profit Panera Cares location. At its peak, Panera Cares operated five locations, including ones in Dearborn, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; Boston, and Chicago. Each restaurant was designed to sustain itself, but the restaurants weren’t financially viable. The Portland-based Panera Cares was reportedly only recouping between 60 and 70 percent of its total costs. The losses were attributed students who “mobbed” the restaurant and ate without paying, as well as homeless patrons who visited the

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Who-d a-thunk it? Panera’s utopic pay-what-you-want restaurant model didn’t work?

Panera’s Utopic Pay-What-You-Want Restaurant Dream Is Dead?

Nine years after introducing pay-what-you-can restaurants to several U.S. cities, Panera Bread is admitting defeat and closing down its last remaining non-profit Panera Cares location.

At its peak, Panera Cares operated five locations, including ones in Dearborn, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; Boston, and Chicago. Each restaurant was designed to sustain itself, but the restaurants weren’t financially viable. The Portland-based Panera Cares was reportedly only recouping between 60 and 70 percent of its total costs. The losses were attributed students who “mobbed” the restaurant and ate without paying, as well as homeless patrons who visited the restaurant for every meal of the week. The location eventually limited the homeless to “a few meals a week.”

More here at “Panera’s Utopic Pay-What-You-Want Restaurant Dream Is Dead.

Who-d a-thunk it? Panera’s utopic pay-what-you-want restaurant model didn’t work?
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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