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Panera's higher purpose
On first blush, it’s like learning Warren Buffett has changed his name to Moonbeam and moved into a commune, one sweat lodge over from Donald Trump’s. Panera Bread, one of the restaurant industry’s biggest financial successes, the proof of free enterprise’s potential, the pin-up above the headboard of so many arch-capitalists, isn’t sold on the whole profit-motive thing.
Restaurateurs have to fulfill a slew of professional roles, from accountant to marketer to motivational speaker, if they want to remain successful. This week’s crop of ideas shows why “psychiatrist” should often top the list. Consider, for instance, how one place contended with a crazy riff on the old dine-and-dash scam.