Who could have seen this coming?
Nine years after unveiling its socialist utopia vision of eateries, Panera has shuttered its last remaining pay-what-you-can 'Panera Cares' restaurants. The Massachusetts restaurant will close on February 15, according to Eater Boston.
“In many ways, this whole experiment is ultimately a test of humanity,” company founder Ron Shaich said in a TEDx talk later that year.
“Would people pay for it? Would people come in and value it?”
It appears the answer is a resounding no as freeloaders dominated the virtue-signaling food venue.
As Eater.com reports, the losses were attributed to students who “mobbed” the restaurant and ate without paying, as well as homeless patrons who visited the restaurant for every meal of the week.
Some locations eventually limited the homeless to a few meals a week, enforcing measures to try and maintain some order...
“We had to help them understand that this is a café of shared responsibility and not a handout,” Shaich said in a 2011 interview about the Portland location.
“It can’t serve as a shelter and we can’t have community organizations sending everybody down.”
Which sparked outrage among the liberal Portlandians who took to online review sites to denounce the restaurant for being unwelcoming, complaining of false advertising.
People working with at-risk residents described incidents during which they were rudely told off by managers for “abusing the system.”
Others described situations in which visitors trying to participate in the pay-as-you-can system feeling shamedfor not being able to afford the suggested donation amount.
“Despite our commitment to this mission, it’s become clear that continued operation of the Boston Panera Cares is no longer viable,” JAB Holdings wrote in an emailed statement to Bloomberg, proving once again that no matter how utopian the socialist vision is, the supposed harmony between the common people (takers) and power-elites (givers/planners) collapses into hostility as human emotions confirm, once again, there is no such thing as a free lunch (because at some point, you run out of other people's money).