Panera Goes Non-Profit, Seeks to Contribute to Charitable Organizations recently featured an article explaining how getting employees involved in local charitable organizations, fundraisers and other events benefited the restaurateur in greater employee loyalty and lower employee turnover rates. Panera has taken this concept a step further.

Top Performer, Panera takes Radical Turn
According to the company’s website Panera Bread was recognized in 2006 by The Wall Street Journal as the top performing restaurant in the area of one, five and ten year returns to its shareholders.  In fact, since 1999 Panera Bread stock has improved 13 fold, creating more than one billion dollars in shareholder value.

Although stellar in its performance, profitability and share returns, Panera Bread has decided to take a radical turn and opened a non-profit, pay-what-you-wish restaurant in Clayton, Missouri an experiment of Panera’s chairman, Rondal Shaich.

Non-Profit Draws Customers, Builds Loyalty
One month after opening its non-profit in Missouri, Shaich revealed that Panera will be able to cover its costs within a few months. The goal is to generate additional capital that can be used to help charitable organizations meet their goals.

As it turns out, nearly all the customers (between 60 and 70 percent) pay full price for the items they choose at the pay-what-you-wish Panera Missouri location. A small percentage pays a bit more and some pay less or nothing at all, but the concept is building a following and developing customer loyalty.

Creative Solutions
Restaurateurs are coming up with creative ways to attract customers who returned to their kitchens during the height of the recession. For some, this means offering discounts and coupons. Others have found that leveraging the power of social media networks to remain connected with customers is an effective solution. Still others have placed greater emphasis on being involved in community activities.

For Panera, they’re finding that creating a revenue stream to support their favorite charitable organizations is a win-win for all involved. .

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One Response to “Panera Goes Non-Profit, Seeks to Contribute to Charitable Organizations”

  1. Charitable Non Profit Organization Says:


    Thanks for such a great information. In these days its hard to find a honest blog.
    This is sooo exciting! I love your blog and check it every day.the blog has grown so much. Wish you & the blog more success!

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    God bless 🙂

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