There’s trouble in Panera paradise.
The food chain, known for its bread and sandwiches, faces growing safety concerns at its Panera Cares pay-what-you-can location in Chicago's affluent Lakeview neighborhood, CBS Chicago reports. The location, which allows customers to pay as much as they choose, was opened in June after the success of another Panera Cares in Missouri.
With the economy weak and many Americans struggling to put food on the table, the pay-what-you-can model has enjoyed some success lately, and a recent study found people aren't prone to take advantage of the model either. It's worked out well enough for rockstar Jon Bon Jovi, who last October opened his own restaurant in New Jersey, where patrons can choose the amount they’d like to contribute, or even pay their share by volunteering to help various community projects.
This time, things apparently aren't working out so well. Lakeview residents are complaining that the area around the Panera location has become a bit rougher since the restaurant opened up shop, according to CBS Chicago.
“It’s just kind of scary,” Lakeview resident Sally Figliulo told the station. “A crowd of guys won’t let you through a sidewalk. That’s invasive.”
Even though neighboring businesses have put in place additional security measures, not everyone is concerned. Longtime resident Bruce Beal says that the only real concern residents have is that property values will fall, CBS Chicago reports.
Of course, it’s not just food that can come with a variable price tag. An Ohio barber made headlines last year when he started offering pay-what-you can cuts to patrons.
(Hat tip: The Consumerist)
'Best Butt' Discount
One woman was surprised to find that along with her veggie bowl, she received a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/best-butt-discount-customer-receipt_n_1819442.html" target="_hplink">discount for having the 'best butt'</a> and being the 'best looking' person in the fast food joint.
Dry Cleaner Gaffe
A customer got quite a surprise when he picked up his freshly-laundered shirts. The anonymous consumer, dubbed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/dry-cleaner-dubs-customer_n_1834484.html" target="_hplink">'Asshole, Alex'</a> apparently had the cleaning bill comped.
Pizza With A Side Of Racism
A Papa John's customer snapped a photo of her receipt, which contained an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/07/lady-chinky-eyes-papa-johns-store-uses-receipt-to-call-woman-racial-slur_n_1191434.html" target="_hplink">offensive racial slur</a> in place of the customer's name.
Two Burger King employees were fired after a customer noticed that his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/17/burger-king-f_ck-you-receipt_n_785143.html" target="_hplink">receipt read 'F*ck You'</a> where it would normally say 'Thank You'.
Bruins Celebrate In Style
After the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, they partied... hard. The team apparently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/23/boston-bruins-bar-tab-infographic_n_883071.html" target="_hplink">rang up a $156,000 bar tab</a> at a nightclub in the Foxwoods Casino, according to the <em>Boston Globe</em>.
Restaurant Settles Suit Over Racial Slurs
A California steak house settled a lawsuit with a customer that claimed his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/racist-restaurant-receipts_n_1279363.html" target="_hplink">credit receipts contained several racial slurs</a> where his name should have been.
Radio Shack Refund Gets Ugly
A Maryland woman got a little something extra along with her refund when she discovered that an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/radio-shack-receipt-ugly-itch-insults-shanae-lewis_n_1342834.html" target="_hplink">associate deemed her an 'ugly itch'</a> from 'ghettohood, USA'.
Chick-Fil-A In Hot Water
Chick-Fil-A garnered national attention after a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/chick-fil-a-ching-chong-r_n_1146266.html" target="_hplink">customer snapped a photo</a> of two receipts that had labeled Asian-American customers as 'Ching' and 'Chong'.
Walmart Customers Find Jesus
A couple claimed their <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/18/jesus-in-walmart-receipt_n_901548.html" target="_hplink">Walmart receipt contained the face of the Son of God</a>.
Now THAT'S An Account Balance
An ATM customer found this surprising receipt still in the machine. The receipt, which shows a whopping <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/100-million-atm-receipt_n_887993.html" target="_hplink">balance of nearly $100 million</a>, supposedly belonged to hedge fund manager David Tepper.
Server Has Choice Words For Kids
A server at a Chichos Pizza <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/high-as-shit-kids-receipt_n_1291724.html" target="_hplink">restaurant labeled his customers</a> as 'high as shit kids'. Fortunately, the customers had a sense of humor and posted the receipt to Reddit to much fanfare.