BOULDER, CO – Most of us know that if you want a fast, healthy meal for a reasonable price you can head to Panera, but what about getting the same meal for a suggested price?
That’s the business model at one of their locations in St. Louis and it seems to be working quite well. According to one employee we spoke with, 85-90% of customers give at or above the suggested price to pay it forward. Company higher-ups have commented that they plan to open two other locations in other cities in the coming months.
Pretty innovative – the interaction is voluntary and it lowers the transactions costs associated with helping others. Hopefully other companies take a cue and roll out similar concepts in their stores.
For more on the very real and powerful incentives of civil society check out David Beito’s excellent From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State.