Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein at The Baffler:
Shaich is not only a self-described conscious capitalist, but a board member of Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism, Inc. He and other conscious capitalists operate under the assumption that consumers will prefer their businesses because they are doing good. They assert that by publicly taking on charitable initiatives that benefit people beyond their shareholders, they will lower marketing costs and raise profits—because customers will like them and thus be more loyal. But conscious capitalism is a young, largely untested business theory, and its efficacy claims haven’t been well studied. With Eckhardt and Dobscha’s research, that’s beginning to change. Over the course of a few months in 2017, they cased the Panera Cares in Boston and reviewed every single Yelp review of all five Panera Cares locations. They found that the food secure and insecure both had profound “physical, psychological, and philosophical” problems with the restaurant.