Monday, May 16, 2011

Markets in Everything: Pay-What-You-Want Panera

USA Today -- "A Pay-what-you-want Panera in Clayton, MO is being called a success. The menu board lists "suggested funding levels," not prices. Payments go into a donation box, though the cashiers provide change and handle credit card payments.

The majority of patrons pay the "suggested funding level" or more. Statistics provided by Panera indicate that roughly 60% leave the suggested amount; 20% leave more; and 20% less. One person paid $500 for a meal, the largest single payment."

10 Comments:

At 5/16/2011 8:44 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Oh,,,, let's see this at the... gas pump, eh?

:-)

 
At 5/16/2011 10:05 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

This idea should be extended to brothels.

 
At 5/16/2011 10:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

:-)

 
At 5/17/2011 5:33 AM, Blogger cluemeister said...

I predict this business model will end in 3...2...1....

 
At 5/17/2011 8:26 AM, Blogger Cooper said...

Y'all are so depressing.

What I immediately thought when I read it was, "Does this prove the price point is right?" 60% paying the price leans me to say yes since there is equal over and under. But if more people (say 30% paid more than those paying less 10%) overpaid, than ideas abound.

 
At 5/17/2011 8:34 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

try putting this in the tenderloin in san francisco.

"90% paid nothing"....

 
At 5/17/2011 11:23 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well as a resident near that particular Panera its location is quite good, it gets all the traffic from the county courts, state courts, county government and state government which is quite a bit of traffic...

I've had the misfortune of being called onto juror pools several times (apparent downside of voting it seems) over the last few years and I've tried that particular Panera's fare just once and it was once to often IMHO...

So I can understand why there are 'suggested' pricing schemes at that particular Panera's...

 
At 5/17/2011 4:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I've had the misfortune of being called onto juror pools several times (apparent downside of voting it seems) over the last few years and I've tried that particular Panera's fare just once and it was once to often IMHO..."

IMHO you tried it just the right number of times. You now have valuable knowledge you would not have had otherwise, and armed with that knowledge, you can save yourself an equivalent amount of displeasure in the future. Consider it a sunk cost. :)

"So I can understand why there are 'suggested' pricing schemes at that particular Panera's..."

I assume you had to pay the 'suggested' price before you could make a proper evaluation of your meal and price it accordingly. Too bad.

Actually, even with mediocre food, unless there's a lot of competition, a restaurant with that pricing plan may do well in that type of neighborhood. There's a fairly captive clientel. And, as many who work in that type of environment consider image to be important, peer pressure might prevent people from paying what they think their meal is really worth. No one would want to hear another member of their party yell: "Why, you cheap bastard!"

 
At 5/17/2011 5:27 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

been to Panera a few times... and never understood why it was considered "special".

Same deal with Starbucks... high-priced grotesquely adulterated ...coffee..

I can nearly buy a whole pound of decent coffee for what they charge for one cup.

but it goes to show you that the "economy" is not just about people's "needs".

Many young people will buy a Starbucks every day for what they could get health care for, eh?

 
At 5/18/2011 4:36 PM, Blogger Cooper said...

CNN did a cover also

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43047409

 

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