photo on Flickr by Samatha Celera, CC licensePanera Bread will open its third nonprofit restaurant Monday in Portland where customers pay what they want for food — using donation boxes, instead of cash registers.

Panera opened community cafes last year in Clayton, Mo., and Dearborn, Mich., owned and operated by the nonprofit arm of the national restaurant chain.

The question was, “Will people step up and help each other or will they take advantage?”

So far, people have stepped up. Panera said about 20% of the visitors to the cafes leave more than the suggested amount, 20% leave less and 60% pay what is suggested.

(READ the AP story at USA Today)


  1. This is great! There is a proprietor in Kitchener, Ontario who has opened three small coffee shop-bakeries (called City Cafe). They sell fair trade coffee, pay the staff well above minimum wage, and leave it up to the customer to pay on an honor-system in this self-serve cafe’. Apparently they always take in slightly more than they were supposed to, even though they have a no-tipping policy. Glad to see that faith in the human being is paying off!

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