The CEO of Panera Bread, being a good liberal and all around sweet guy, decided to conduct a social experiment at three of his stores. He thought it would be fun if customers paid what they will. For example, if a wealthy housewife decided her Frontega Chicken panini was worth a C-note, then by Jove put the money in the jar. If a college student felt like paying two bits for his hot, cheesy and delicious Asiago Bagel and La Lapa coffee from the Central Valley of Costa Rica, well so be it.
It was a brilliant idea but somehow it just didn't work out. It seems the homeless, indigent and insane decided Panera Bread was just the place for their next soirée! Come one come all and you'll love the price...and they did. The Portland location ended up hiring a “community outreach associate” which is to an upscale cafe what a big hairy bouncer is to a tittie bar. The CEO (obviously devastated by the experience) said “There’s a palpable sense of people in pain attracted to our store” and many have a "sense of entitlement". Really? Who could have foreseen this?
Alas it seems humane nature and those pesky laws of economics will not bow to the altruistic and generous ethos of our more progressive corporate citizens.