(ST. LOUIS) -- "Pay what you can" is an idea whose time has come, at least for Panera Bread bakery cafes.
The restaurant chain decided to try out this policy at one of its stores in suburban St. Louis about a year ago to help out people who were down on their luck.
Founder Ronald Shaich also said that Panera was looking for a novel way of donating money to charity.
Twelve months later, Shaich calls the experiment a huge success. As it happened, about 20 percent of people paid a little less than the menu price, 20 percent actually gave a little more and the majority paid the suggested price.
Panera Bread is now due to open two more "Pay what you can" stores, one in Portland, Oregon and the other in suburban Detroit.
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