Panera Bread’s Innovative Way to Help Fight Hunger

The other day my oldest son asked, “What happens if you go to a restaurant and eat, but don’t have enough money to pay?”

Well, a common answer parents give is, “Wash dishes.” But, the real answer depends on where you’re dining. If you happen to be at Panera Bread Co’s non-profit St. Louis location, you would pay what you could. The restaurant helps feed the needy and also raises money for charitable work. The retail location began in 2010 to test the “community kitchens” concept where businesses operate partly as charities.

In case you’re wondering if the concept works, it does!

Panera is planning to open one community kitchen store every three months. Paying what you can works out to 60% of people choosing to pay the retail price, 20% choosing to pay more, and 20% paying less. All in all, this nets out to about $3,000 to $4,000 a month to be used for training at risk youths. A creative way to give back to the community by tapping into the core Panera’s business.

To see how the Panera concept works, take a look at the video below.

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