Business, Economics and Jobs

Pay as you can movement gains steam in Chicago


Panera has turned one of its Chicago stores into a pay-what-you-can store.


Jesse Grant

CHICAGO — Panera is bringing a pay-what-you-can store to the Windy City. 

The St. Louis company has opened its fourth Panera Cares Community Cafe in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, the Chicago Tribune said.

A Panera executive told the paper the neighborhood was perfect for the concept because it is one housing both million-dollar townhomes and a significant homeless population.

It is a neighborhood in which there are customers who can help support the cafe and customers who would benefit from that support.

"One of the goals of this charitable program is to help ensure that everyone who needs a meal gets one and to raise the level of awareness about food insecurity in the country," Panera said in a statement. "It is a community cafe of shared responsibility." 

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The Lakeview location also is where Panera founder and co-CEO Ron Shaich wrote the company's mission statement. 

Chicago's ABC affiliate said all profits generated by the store would be donated to charity. 

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