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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Panera Bread wants to try socialism and I'M ALL FOR IT!

Recently Panera Bread announced it is opening a "pay-what-you-want" store in Clayton, MO. The idea is folks will go in, get their food, then pay what they feel is a fair price for the items.
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.
I am completely in favor of Panera doing this. Because I believe in the free market, I support their right as a company to run their business as they see fit. If they want to take the chance of losing-let them. As long as the government didn't force them to do it, it's within their rights to stand or fall as they please. There can be no government bailout if they lose though, that's part of the gamble

It is important to realize this actually isn't socialism at all. This would be the opposite of socialism. This would be a shining example of capitalism, the free market, innovation and free will. Socialism is when the government forces a company or individual to act a certain way. Socialism is the government deciding who gets what and how a business operates. Socialism is the absence of free will and innovation.

Some express concern prices at the regular retail stores will rise as a result; that could happen. This is how the free market works. If prices rise as a result of their decision to operate a "paygo" store, so be it. You always have the choice to dine somewhere else. You don't have a RIGHT to dine at any restaurant, you have the ability. If you don't like the prices or the food or the atmosphere, go somewhere else. Simple.

I support Panera in this effort. If they are successful, great! If they fail, that's great too.....therein is the beauty of America. Here, in America, you have the right to stand or fall, fail or succeed, do or not-all on your own. When the government stays out of it, there is no better model on the planet.


  1. Exactly. It continues to amaze me how often folks can't differentiate between a company/person doing something of their own free will and a company/person being forced to do something by a government entity.

    People/companies should be free to risk what they choose and reap the rewards or losses of those risks. As long as I'm not forced to participate in those risks against my will..not a problem.

  2. Amen, Michelle! It's an interesting experiment in social entrepreneurship.

  3. A couple things I'm interested in here.

    Its a non-profit organization so no taxes. Donating to the non-profit is a deduction, so the parent company can make donations to keep them afloat and get a deduction. Its not uncommon for a large franchise to keep under performing locations above water.

    I wonder how mandatory health care is handled in obamacare? I'll bet they are exempt.

    Might be more capitalist than socialist. At the very least there is some creative bookkeeping going on.

  4. Genius.

    I may have to eat there, tomorrow.

    I bet that store is packed most hours of most days. They sell coffee, bread, soda, other yummies that take very little money to create. I bet they still make a few nickels on cheapskates who only pay $5 and I bet most people will flip them $10-$20 (which is not bad for lunch in Clayton, anyway).

  5. HAHA, Socialism is just where you make everyone equal. socialism can be a economic strategy, or a SOCIAL one. It's like the bill of rights, everyone is entitled to certain undeniable rights. PS The highway system is a socialist concept.