an open letter to panera

Dear Panera,

You're awesome! Allowing me to use your phone for free to make a local call during my vacation last summer, and making wifi access freely available to everybody even if they don't buy anything (though I always do, it's only fair). You performed a great service to humanity, created lots of satisfied customers, and became the largest provider of free wifi in the country.

But I have to ask: what's with the abundance of fake outlets and the dearth of real ones at some of your stores? I tried every outlet in your relatively new Reading, PA location. All fake, except for one on the floor between the comfy leather chairs. My laptop was fully powered, so it didn't matter for the first hour or so. But when my battery got below 50% I started getting antsy. Fortunately for me the two lovely young ladies sitting in the comfy chairs got up and left and I scrambled over there, garnering only a few confused (read 'inquisitional') stares from other patrons.

Do you not want me hanging out for a little while? Do you make your stores so inviting and comfortable only to ask "so, how long will you be staying?" with that hope-you-leave-soon look on your face? What gives?

I hope you'll consider putting a few more outlets here and there in your stores and if you do, I promise only to use one when and if my battery starts running low.

Yours truly,


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