Panera Pulls Plug on Pay-What-You-Can Chili

by Christopher Freeburn | July 10, 2013 9:58 am

Panera Bread drink 630[1]Diners at Panera Bread (PNRA[2]) restaurants in and around St. Louis can’t set their own price[3] for the Turkey Chili Bread Bowl anymore.

On Wednesday, the restaurant chain ended its “Meal of Shared Responsibility” offer. Customers had been able to pay whatever they wanted for the dish, which had a recommended price of $5.89, including tax, the Associated Press notes.

After serving 15,000 of the 850-calorie dishes, Panera discovered that the program, which was intended to help needy people who wanted access to affordable, quality food, was actually drawing few disadvantaged customers. The chain’s restaurants are located mostly in middle class areas.

The “Meal of Shared Responsibility” offer debuted at Missouri restaurants in March[4]. Panera’s CEO says the offer will be reworked and could return some time next winter for a limited run.

Shares of Panera fell more than 1% in Wednesday morning trading.

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  4. debuted at Missouri restaurants in March:

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