Thinking of Abundance

I share my thinking on this blog for the creative fun of it and the simple satisfaction that comes from communicating with readers about what’s on my mind. With that said, like any other blogger, or creative artist of any stripe, it always feels good to be validated in one’s thinking and that is the prompt for this posting.

As a longtime subscriber to Fast Company, I am regularly treated to a cornucopia of innovative and interesting ideas so suffice it to say that I was particularly pleased to read a recent article about the business success of Panera Bread [which I had written about in my 06/15/09 posting titled “Mobile Avenue”].

As I mentioned in my post, Panera’s “unlimited Internet access is the drawing card for countless professional nomads like myself who are looking for a cool, cozy place to conduct business.” My point was, and continues to be, that businesses with an abundance mindset will trump those with a scarcity mentality.

As the aforementioned article states, “Mention Panera Bread and fans are as likely to praise the free Wi-Fi as they are to gush about the Asiago cheese bagels. And that, execs at the restaurant chain say, is the point. While its competitors scale back on upscale ingredients, trim portion sizes, and create value menus, Panera is selling fresh food and warm bread at full price, and encouraging customers to linger. That recipe is succeeding.”

The article also points out that while others aim to limit laptop-lugging patrons, Panera has realized that fostering community contributes to cash flow: “And the company has combined that menu with an unpretentious atmosphere—there’s no table service, but also no time limit. As a result, it has become as much community gathering space as a bustling lunch spot. ‘In many ways, we’re renting space to people and the food is the price of admission,’ says CEO Ron Shaich.”