Pret a Manger consists of offering customers up to five coffees per day if they subscribe to a monthly subscription service.
The chain is hoping the price of £ 20 will be low enough to recoup some of the business lost in the pandemic.
But the city centers, saturated with cafes, remain relatively deserted as many office workers continue to work from home.
Pret has already announced the closure of 30 outlets and the dismissal of a third of its staff.
The coffee shop and sandwich chain is launching YourPret Barista next week as part of a new digital strategy that it hopes will help jumpstart its fortunes.
Briony Raven, director of coffee and packaging at Pret, said the program would help persuade customers to view Pret as the default choice, in the same way they do for other subscription services. such as Netflix.
“This is Pret’s way of showing loyalty,” she said. “It’s about giving people an easy choice, when they go back to their daily routine. This is the choice.
For the fixed monthly rate, a customer can choose any ‘barista-made’ drink, from a lean soy latte to a smoothie, using their phone to access the subscription, up to five times per. day, seven days a week.
To prevent misuse by anyone planning to get a coffee tour for their friends and colleagues, each drink should be collected 30 minutes apart.
Consumer expert Kate Hardcastle said the £ 20 fee, along with a one month free introductory trial, is an ‘incredibly low offer’, illustrating how desperate retailers are to win people back and retain them.
“There has been a significant increase in subscription models over lockdown, from socks to gin, so people are in on the idea,” she said.
“But it won’t be easy to translate into the cafe. What was once the daily latte is now discontinued. The trips to the office may be only once or twice a week rather than every day. Consumers are also well aware of this. could be regional locks, which may mean they don’t want to commit large amounts up front. ”
The program appears to be designed around the “new normal,” still priced attractively even if you only visit the office twice a week, said Natalie Berg, analyst at NBK Retail.
“Ready bet you’ll buy a sandwich with that coffee and it will become usual,” she said.
“Once you become a member of a subscription, you want to get value so use it more, spend more. So if you are a member, you are unlikely to get started with Starbucks. ”
The program is “revolutionary,” added Ms. Berg, and shows the company has recognized that it needs to be creative in today’s circumstances.
In addition to appealing to people in-store, this paves the way for Pret to offer a range of other services through the new digital platform, allowing it to interact more personally with customers and tailor services as needed. their spending habits.
Pret said he has a number of other innovations in the works, including expanding its evening meal offering and deliveries. He also started selling Pret brand coffee on Amazon.