I've heard of this concept before and wondered if it would work. Apparently, it does. Panera Bread gave customers suggested prices for its menu items and the majority of patrons paid in full. Moreover, Panera thinks it should be able to recover costs for doing this within just a few months.
I can see a couple of ugly caveats, given my musings on human nature lately. The first is the people who will say, "Well, Panera is clearly able to cut the price, so they should just cut the price on the menu and let me pay less." The second is the notion that every business will do this and , therefore, we can cut the social safety net.
Here's hoping, though, that the success of this experiment will spread across the restaurant industry in this difficult economic climate.
Read about it at www.good.is