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Free Food! Free Food!

May 18, 2010

Panera Bread just opened a a new restaurant where customers “pay whatever they want.”

From the Associated Press: CLAYTON, Mo. — Panera Bread Co. is asking customers at a new restaurant to pay what they want. The national bakery and restaurant chain launched a new nonprofit store here this week that has the same menu as its other 1,400 locations. But the prices are a little different — there aren’t any. Customers are told to donate what they want for a meal, whether it’s the full suggested price, a penny or $100.

The full story can be found here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g__EQ-OG9DhU1YwC4Fo4s5QREdbgD9FPBIMG0

This bizarre business model has Trophy Wife jumping up and down with excitement as she hopes that Tiffany’s jewelers may adopt a similar pricing policy.  Additionally,  if Panera succeeds in this approach, it will be bullish for textbook publishers, as  it will require a re-write of every college economics textbook!

[Disclosure: Rocky doesn’t own any shares of Panera Bread (PNRA), but if he did, he might be tempted to sell them before he lunches at Panera for a penny.]

  1. May 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Radiohead did this with their “In Rainbows” album, which they then released later for $$$. I wonder if the publicity and “good feelings” this generates is enough to actually make it not as insane as it sounds. I’m just waiting for first company to take this to a new level and actually pay me to eat their food.

  2. Tyler Lang
    May 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Seriously Rocky, where do u find this stuff?

  3. ld
    May 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Rocky – ld usually gets an urgent e-mail (Outlook highlights in RED) about food left over in a conference room. MIT alums at work say this came from their college days. ld didn’t have such a luxury during his college days and survived on rice and pasta for months. In this case the trip is expensive. Will wait until one opens locally before sending the “urgent email.” 🙂

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