- Pret A Manger USA has introduced a coffee subscription program in New York City and Washington, D.C., according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. The program allows subscribers to pay a monthly fee to order their favorite Pret drinks up to five times a day.
- There are two subscription plans. The premium plan costs $29.99 a month and includes all espresso-based, barista-made drinks, as well as organic coffees and teas with an espresso shot or flavored syrup add-on. The classic plan is $19.99 a month and includes all organic coffees and teas with a flavored syrup add-on. Both plans include hot or iced drinks of any size.
- The program's U.S. launch follows a successful rollout in the U.K., according to the company, and comes as the subscription sales industry experiences a growth surge. The subscription economy has grown over 435% in the past nine years, according to Zuora, a cloud-based subscription management platform.
Pret isn't alone in translating subscription models to the restaurant space. Earlier this week, Taco Bell launched a Taco Lover's Pass test, for example, allowing customers to purchase a 30-day subscription for a daily taco. Dickey's Barbecue Pit also recently introduced subscription meal boxes, while BJ's Restaurants and Brewhouse features a beer subscription program.
Pret's subscription program is more likely to align with Panera's coffee subscription program launched last year. Panera's program may be more accessible to diners, however, thanks to its much lower price point. The fast casual's subscription cost is $8.99 a month for unlimited coffee and tea.
Still, Panera's program proves just how successful subscriptions can be in the restaurant space — it increased Panera visits by 70% during its pilot period and generated over 700,000 sign-ups in July 2020 alone. Panera captured higher tickets as a result of the program, since subscribers often attach a food item to their beverage orders.
Subscription programs can also generate frequency and incite loyalty, and keep brands top-of-mind — which is a big deal for brands still recovering from a reduced number of valuable morning commuters as a result of the pandemic.
Pret could use such a tailwind. When it launched its subscription service in the U.K. in 2020, Pret was reeling from a sales drop of 60% from 2019, as well as dozens of closures in the U.S. The company also cut one-third of its U.K. workforce in 2020. The coffee program, however, yielded 16,500 subscriptions on its first day, in the U.K.
The growth in subscription services isn't expected to wane anytime soon as consumers rely more heavily on companies like Netflix and Amazon. Juniper Research estimates that the subscription sales market for physical goods will surpass $263 billion by 2025.