The cafe is like any other Panera except there are no prices. Customers pay what they want and what’s raised –minus expenses– goes to charity. Or something like that.
It doesn’t really matter. Three things are clear to me. It’s great marketing. A terrible business idea. And the philanthropic impact will be minimal.
It’s a terrible business idea because when the bloom is off the venture the cafe won’t be able to sustain itself from customer donations, much less give back to causes. The cafe may become a venue for community programs, as Panera envisions, but a fully functioning Panera sustained on the goodwill of customer donations, with money left over to give back to causes?… Keep reading