A great coffee giveaway is being launched by Pret a Manger – potentially saving workers hundreds of pounds a month – to encourage a return to high streets.
Customers can sign up to a £20 monthly subscription to have up to five drinks a day.
The YourPret Barista scheme, which also includes tea, hot chocolate, smoothies and iced coffee, is part of the chain’s radical remodelling to fit the ‘new normal’.
Buying five £2.40 Pret cappuccinos over 30 days would normally cost a customer £360.
A great coffee giveaway is being launched by Pret a Manger – potentially saving workers hundreds of pounds a month – to encourage a return to high streets
Under the scheme, the drinks have to be bought at least 30 minutes apart and can only be for one person. The innovation is set to trigger a coffee shop price war.
Pret is also rolling out a ‘heat me at home’ range and is now delivering sandwiches, salads and coffee to homes.
The chain is hoping for a dramatic kick-start to its sales, which are around 60 per cent below last year.
Recently, however, trade has picked up, with sales across its 367 outlets growing at 7 per cent a week.
The YourPret Barista scheme, which also includes tea, hot chocolate, smoothies and iced coffee, is part of the chain’s radical remodelling to fit the ‘new normal’
The innovative move, which is a first for the UK high street, comes against a background of fears that coronavirus has effectively ripped the heart out of many urban centres.
A lockdown – with millions continuing to work from home – means Pret and many other outlets in city centres and transport hubs have seen a collapse in customers.
Just last week, the coffee shop and sandwich chain announced some 2,800 job losses along with shorter opening hours. Another 1,000 jobs have been saved because the workforce agreed to shorter hours.
The company hopes that any losses made on hot drinks will be made up with improved sales on sandwiches, soups and other food.
The chain is also looking to tap into those customers working from laptops at home.
It is promoting Pret’s ‘Heat Me at Home’ range, such as a Macaroni Cheese with Prosciuto at £4.95 and a Chicken & Butternut Risotto soup at £3.75. There are also lunch bundles of salads and sandwiches for home delivery.
Pret is offering its first ever retail coffee range of ground coffee and espresso beans, available via Amazon, plus a new dinner menu, which includes hot bakes and wraps, including Swedish meatballs, available through its home delivery partners, Deliveroo, Uber and Just Eat.
There are a number of measures designed to limit abuse of the scheme. For example, the subscription service will work via customers’ smartphones and involves digital payments linked to an individual.
Customers will need to make five purchases across the day at least 30minutes apart, rather than buying five at once.
Buying five £2.40 Pret cappuccinos over 30 days would normally cost a customer £360
In theory, people could sign up for the scheme for a month and get free coffee for that period before unsubscribing. However, Pret is hoping people will appreciate the value of the ongoing £20 a month subscription and take a responsible approach.
Chief executive, Pano Christou, said: ‘As people across the UK begin to get back to the things they’ve missed, our new subscription service is perfect for customers who have been craving one of our barista-prepared drinks.
‘Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or tea devotee, we hope this new service helps you start your day strong.
‘This is just the first step in our plan to bring Pret to more people. We now have the building blocks to establish Pret as a multichannel, digitally-led business, and YourPret Barista is the first big launch we’re able to deliver through our new technology platform.
‘Since reopening back in May, our coffee sales have been rising faster than food – evidence that coffee has become an integral part of both our customers’ everyday routines.’