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American bakeshop and restaurant chain Panera Bread becomes the first brand to offer subscription-based unlimited coffee and tea in the United States.
For $9 a month, members of Panera’s loyalty program can enjoy all-you-can-drink hot or iced beverages at all of the restaurant’s US locations. Although customers can order coffee or tea from the restaurant’s kiosks, they can also opt to use Panera’s mobile app and have their drinks delivered or ready for pick-up.
Before the subscription program’s official launch, Panera tested it at 150 stores across Ohio, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary reported that many subscribers visited these restaurants frequently and bought food along with their drinks. A lot of new customers were also enticed to sign up for the loyalty program. About 90% of the members extended their subscription for multiple months. Currently, more than 38 million customers have subscribed to Panera’s loyalty program.
To expand the current promo, Panera announced that more choices will be available to subscribers. Soon, it will also offer options like light- and dark-roast, decaf, hazelnut, and even almond milk.
The restaurant, which has more than 2,000 branches in the United States and Canada, is also encouraging customers to try its food, particularly its breakfast menu. Chaudhary said the company is keeping an eye on the food customers usually get with their beverages so that it could further spice up the subscription’s offerings in the future.