Let’s Help Panera Bread Take Corporate Social Responsibility to a New Level - A blog by Cindy Hoot

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Let’s Help Panera Bread Take Corporate Social Responsibility to a New Level - A blog by Cindy Hoot

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The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these bloggers offer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.     

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 8:02pm

CONTENT: Blog

I was surprised to read about Panera Bread’s new cafe in St. Louis dubbed the St. Louis Bread Company Cares Cafe. The concept is simple yet groundbreaking… take whatever you want to eat or drink and instead of paying a cashier, drop whatever you can afford into a donation box. And if you don’t have any money, you can donate your time. Crazy concept, I know.

According to a great article in USA Today, Ron Shaich, who stepped down as Panera’s CEO last week, is “trying to find out what human nature is all about” and is banking on our humanity. He said he’s dreamed about doing something like this for years. So the question is will Panera’s social experiment prove that goodness does exist in the human condition or that we are fundamentally selfish creatures at heart?

The new St. Louis Bread Company Cares Cafe looks and feels just like its for-profit sister, Panera Bread, even the menu is the same. The only difference is the baked goods are one day old. They are unsold items from other St. Louis Bread Company restaurants in the area. The exception is the bread used to make sandwiches. 

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Keywords: Businesses | CSR | Cindy Hoot | Commentary | Consumers | Corporate Social Responsibility | Corporations | Ethics | The Inspired Economist | events

CONTENT: Blog

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