That slamming noise you hear as you watch the horse frolic down the hill and ever onwards to the M25 is the stable door at Pret a Manger, who are finally having a good idea about how to save a business decimated by loss of trade during the pan ... blah, blah, blah. It is reported today that the sandwich and boiled egg outlet is to offer customers up to five coffees a day if they sign up to a monthly subscription service. The chain is hoping that the price tag of £20 is low enough to win back some of the business lost in the pandemic.
It won't, of course, as the near empty streets of London bear witness to the fact that very few people are within 20 miles of a Pret outlet, instead sitting in their dining room with a 20 pence cup of instant coffee and trying to figure out 15 down in the crossword; 'five letters - long vehicle that used to take commuters into work. T R _ _ _'. Pret boss Pano Christou wins the prize for the most obvious statement of the week, telling the BBC: "There's no doubt that workers will come into the office less often than beforehand. Pret needs to adapt itself to the changes of customer patterns and that's where we've been very focused."
There are rumours that the business is seeking to open more outlets out of city centres and to offer home delivery. Yep, good idea. I'm sitting at home and have just finished my third Microsoft Teams' meeting of the morning and fancy lunch. Let's see - do I email Pret and ask them to deliver a crayfish, avocado and chia salad in 40 minutes for £3.75, or open a can of beans and eat them straight out of the tin for 45 pence?
What were the options again?
Briony Raven, Pret's director of coffee and packaging (they have a director of 'Coffee and Packaging'?! No wonder Aarati wants to be made chief executive of staples and answering the phone), said the scheme aimed to help persuade customers to see Pret as the default choice, in the same way they do other subscription services such as Netflix. "It's Pret's way of doing loyalty," she said. "It's about giving people an easy choice, when they come back into their everyday routine". Okay, Briony (nice name, by the way) almost like a kind of 'loyalty card', then? That's a game-changer - never been tried before.
Pret a Rire?