Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, February 27, 2012

We Need More Panera People

We Should All Be A Little Embarrassed

As hard as it is to accept, it has become somewhat obvious to me that the age of anything even close to civility has passed. Don't bother to decry that as untrue: it IS, and you know it. One has only to listen to the incessant vitriol being spewed by politicians every day, even against members of their own parties. Another school shooting in Ohio today, and dead bodies turning up everywhere. We blame everyone else for the misfortunes in hopes of gaining an advantage for ourselves. It goes on and on. In Kansas, for example, the politicians are set to enact a law that will force ONLY the people making LESS than $25,000 to pay extra in taxes...EVERYBODY else gets a tax break! WTF? And while it is hard to praise legislators in the Sunflower state, the final tax figure is THOUSANDS PER YEAR less than the governor wanted!!! Anyway, into this morass of utter insensitivity to the plight of others steps Panera Bread: a soup,sandwich and bakery-type concern that has something of a national presence. In a nation (the richest, perhaps, in the world) where one household in seven suffers from food insecurity, The folks in charge of Panera Bread said "Enough is enough."
Beginning as far back as 2010, Panera opened "Pay What You Can" outlets which featured "suggested" prices for the food but accepted whatever anyone had, even if it was zero. Kate Antonacci, a spokesperson for the company opined, "There's not much dignity in going to a soup kitchen, and we want people to have dignity." Three outlets opened initially: Clayton, Missouri, Portland, Oregon, and Dearborn, Michigan. There are plans for two more such franchises by the end of 2012. At this point, the franchise notes that the sales have been what they expected: 20% pay less than the suggested cost, but 20% also pay MORE than the suggested price, thus ensuring a break-even proposition. This renewal in human faith and kindness means that Panera will continue to open these outlets gradually.
Truth be told, Panera is not the only source of this kind of kindness. Joh Bon Jovi has opened a similar restaurant in New York, and there are several others, but all of them are individual concerns, not national "chains."
I'm eating at Panera this weekend...and maybe every weekend.


At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is awesome! I completely agree.


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