Pret A Manger staff give free coffee and food to customers they like or find attractive

Sandwich chain's chief executive says free items are alternative to loyalty cards

Heather Saul
Wednesday 22 April 2015 09:43 BST
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Staff at Pret are told to hand out a certain amount of free coffees each week
Staff at Pret are told to hand out a certain amount of free coffees each week

The chief executive of Pret A Manger has revealed staff at the popular sandwich shop chain are told to give out free hot drinks and food to customers they like or find attractive.

Clive Schlee told The Independent that staff are encouraged to hand out a certain number of hot drinks to customers each week free of charge as an alternative to a loyalty card system.

The system means 28 per cent of Pret customers have received a free drink or item of food at some point.

“We looked at loyalty cards but we didn’t want to spend all that money building up some complicated Clubcard-style analysis,” said Mr Schlee.

“Instead the staff have to give away a certain number of hot drinks and food every week. 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 per cent of people have had something free. It’s a nice, different way of doing it.”

Pret has proved a popular in the UK and Mr Schlee unveiled record profits for the British chain, with sales pre-tax profits rising by 14 per cent to £76 million. Pret has 288 stores in the UK, 160 of which are in London, and 374 outlets world-wide.

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