Sunday, June 06, 2010

SOUND OFF: PAY WHAT YOU WANT

Panera Bread Co., a national chain of bakeries and restaurants, has launched a not-for-profit store called St. Louis Bread Co. Cares in Clayton, Mo., that uses a new pricing model: Customers can donate whatever they can and believe is appropriate for the food that they purchase. If this store can be sustained, Panera will open similar stores elsewhere, with the proceeds going to the nonprofit foundation that runs the store.

If you were to visit this store, or one of its branches if it expands, would you pay the full menu price for your purchases? pay a bit more, if you could afford to, in order to support the effort? or pay as little as possible in the interest of getting a good deal? Tell me which and why.

Post your thoughts here by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below. Please include your name, hometown, and state, province, or country. Readers' comments may appear in an upcoming column. Or e-mail your comments to me at rightthing@nytimes.com.

You can also respond to the poll with this question that will appear on the right-hand side of the blog until polling is closed.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com
or to "The Right Thing," New York Times Syndicate, 620 Eighth Ave., 5th floor, New York, N.Y. 10018.

c.2010 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

3 comments:

Shmuel said...

There doesn't seem to be an option for "I'd pay what I thought the product was worth, which might be more or less than the menu price, depending on how good the bread is and how reasonable the menu prices are."

Shmuel Ross
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

This is why the communist states failed, having this method of payment makes one reluctant to pay at all.
The true believers felt they were getting the short end of the stickby paying for those who didnt pay, the shiftless people of the states. Welfare in USA is the same. Why support all those who can work????

Marty said...

Agree with Shmuel AND Anonymous...I'd pay what I felt the item was worth but no more than the menu price. But the model won't work...Anonymous hit it on the head.

Does taking a gift signify approval of a neighbor's project?

There's a lot of construction going on in L.L.'s neighborhood. Empty lots are being dug up for foundations of new homes. Existi...