As of breakfast this morning, Boston has become the fifth city in the country to feature a Panera Cares, the charity-minded cafe from Panera Bread where patrons pay whatever they want, including nothing. A representative from the cafe previously said to expect a January 23 opening and the Globe confirms that Panera Cares went live earlier today at 3 City Plaza in Government Center. Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich tells the Globe that the cafe is "a gift to the community." So how does a restaurant that doesn't even have cash registers (there are donation bins instead) where people don't pay survive? The company estimates that over half of all patrons leave the full suggested donation and up to 20% leave even more.
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