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Panera's Kind Deed Has Huge Impact

Brandon Cook was visiting his ailing grandmother in a New Hampshire hospital. Nearby was a Panera café. The following letter explains what happened and was posted by the family on the Panera Facebook page:

My grandmother is passing soon with cancer. I visited her the other day and she was telling me about how she really wanted soup, but not hospital soup because she said it tasted awful; she went on about how she would really like some clam chowder from Panera. Unfortunately Panera only sells clam chowder on Friday. I called the manager, Sue, and told them the situation. I wasn't looking for anything special just a bowl of clam chowder. Without hesitation she said absolutely she would make her some clam chowder. When I went to pick it up they wound up giving me a box of cookies as well. It's not that big of a deal to most, but to my grandma it meant a lot. I really want to thank Sue and the rest of the staff from Panera in Nashua, NH just for making my grandmother happy. Thank you so much!

Within days that short post received more than 800,000 likes. More importantly, more than 35,000 people took the time to write a brief Facebook message commending the bakery. The authors of the 2014 book A World Gone Social tell the story and write about the effects:

The next quarter, Panera's same-store sales increased 28 per cent. The quarter after, same-store sales were up 34 per cent. Sure, there's no way of proving that this was all a direct result of the Facebook post, but the rapidly spreading goodwill generated by one person performing one moment of kindness, amplified nearly a million times over, certainly had a significant effect.

Possible preaching angles: Of course the Bible does not promise that our kind deeds will lead to a financial profit. However, we are promised that, in his timing and in his way, God will bless the quiet deeds of kindness and service from his people.

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