New Panera Location: Pay What You Want

Panera Bread Co. launched a new nonprofit store in Clayton, Mo., this week. It has the same menu as the other 1,400 locations, but in Clayton, they are told to donate what they want for a meal. Panera says if the nonprofit store brings in enough to cover costs, it may extend this model to other locations.

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LYNN NEARY, host:

And our last word in business is dough donation.

The national bakery and restaurant chain Panera is experimenting with human nature. It opened a branch in suburban St. Louis that doesn't have prices. You pay what you want. The concept isn't new. It's been tried by community kitchens. The idea is that people who can afford it pay more and subsidize meals for lower-income customers who pay less. Panera says if the nonprofit store brings in enough to cover costs, it may extend this model to other locations.

At the opening this week, some customers were flummoxed when asked to put their money in a donation box. But most did pay the full suggested price while only a few gave themselves a discount.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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