Panera Co. to open more pay-what-you-wish eateries -

Panera Co. to open more pay-what-you-wish eateries

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) -- Bakery-cafe operator Panera Co. says its concept of nonprofit restaurants -- where customers pay as much or as little as they want, or nothing at all, no questions asked -- is successful.

And it's planning an expansion.

Since the national bakery-cafe chain opened its first nonprofit eatery in suburban St. Louis last month, most patrons have paid full price. About 15 percent have paid extra, while about 15 percent have paid less or eaten free.

A month in, nonprofit Panera Cares says customers are paying enough overall that it will be able to cover its costs in the long term, though it's not doing that yet.

It hasn't yet chosen locations for the two additional nonprofit stores it plans to open within months.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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