Panera along with other cafes churches and community groups across the country are opening pay-what-you-can cafes. The set-up of the Panera Cares Cafe offers suggested prices on its menu, having the customer pay that amount or as little or as much as they can, according to USA Today.
The Panera Cares Cafe in Dearborn Michigan has been running for a year and its success will keep Panera running its other Panera Cares Cafe locations and launching more in cities across the country. The cafe’s success relies on returning customers and who often come back because they realize it is helping their community. Most cafes break even with about 20% of customers giving more than the suggested price, 60% the suggested and 20% less or none, reports USA Today. To keep from abuse of the system, Panera suggests only one free meal a day, and for people to volunteer if they come many times each week.