Panera Bread has a few restaurants where they do not have prices, but just suggestions on how much one might contribute.

"We were doing this for ourselves to see if we could make a difference with our own hands, not just write a check, but really make a contribution to the community in a real, substantive way," Panera founder and Chairman Ronald Shaich told The Associated Press. The program, which Panera calls "Panera Cares," is an example of a "community kitchen," the AP says, in which for-profit companies act in part like nonprofits.

Most patrons, it finds, drop the entire retail cost, or more, into the voluntary donation box, in essence subsidizing a meal for someone who can't pay the full amount. Panera says about 60 percent leave the suggested amount; 20 percent leave more; and 20 percent leave less. The largest single payment so far? One person paid $500 for a meal."

Panera Bread lets diners 'pay what you can' -

The article mentions one of their Panera Cares model restaurants that is near me. I raised an eyebrow at its location in Clayton, Missouri where the median household income is $83,000+. It is in their nice walkable small downtown which is closely ringed by nice neighborhoods within comfortable walking distance of Panera (St Louis Bread Company they call it here). says the median house value in 2009 was $591,955. Funny place to see if they could make a real difference. Maybe I'm not understanding the purpose.