Pret A Manger’s executive has revealed that employees at the coffee shop are allowed to hand out free drinks to individuals who they like or find attractive, which is encouraged so that the customers will then return to their store.
Clive Schlee, who is the chief executive at Pret A Manger, admitted to the Evening Standard that staff were given the authority to provide customers with a free coffee or food as an alternative to loyalty cards.
“We looked at loyalty cards but we didn’t want to spend all that money building up some complicated Clubcard-style analysis,” he explained.
“Instead, the staff have to give away a certain number of hot drinks and food every week,” he admitted. “They will decide, ‘I like the person on the bicycle,’ or ‘I like the guy in that tie,’ or, ‘I fancy that girl or that boy.’ It means 28 percent of people have had something free. It’s a nice, different way of doing it.”
Customers who have profited from this generosity have previously taken to Twitter to reveal to their posse of followers that they’d just been handed a free drink.
Pret keep giving me free hot drinks and I have no idea why but it’s so brilliant. Feel like I’ve won the coffee lotto.
— Bon (@bonnienanjack) April 19, 2015
Arrrr man in Pret gave me a free coffee for no apparent reason. ☕️ Thank you man in Pret.
— MAIDAY (@IAmMaiday) April 1, 2015
I got a free orange juice in Pret one time so this must be why http://t.co/KL29Ez6rgS
— Harry Davies (@Harrydavies_) April 21, 2015
— Aliyiah Richards (@amaazing_ali) April 17, 2015
— ✌️ siobhan (@_SiobhanLouisex) February 23, 2015
— Jaimie L (@cr8tvwrites) January 22, 2015
This policy is obviously working for Pret A Manger too, because the British chain, which has 38 stores in New York, 7 in Washington, D.C., 4 in Boston, and 9 in Chicago, has announced record profits. According to the Mirror, sales at Pret A Manger increased 16 percent in 2014 to just below $1 billion.
Schlee predicted that this is only the beginning though, as he wants Pret A Manger to become the same size as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
[Image via Standard]