Pret told to review subscription ads

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Pret told to review ads for its YourPret Barista subscription service

Related tags Pret a manger Coffee

Pret a Manager has been told to review the adverts for its subscription service following criticism from customers who claim that some of the promised beverages are rarely available.

Some holders of the chain’s £20-per-month subscription have complained to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) watchdog, while the BBC reported around 5,000 people complained directly to Pret a Manger.

The service went live in September to help the brand win back customers post lockdown​ and offers subscribers up to five ‘barista prepared’ drinks per day including coffees, organic teas, hot chocolate, frappes and smoothies. 

But some drinks - most notably smoothies - are rarely available. This is apparently mainly due to staff being ‘overwhelmed’ by the extra work the subscription service has created. 

The ASA said that it has contacted Pret a Manger to say that it should “consider reviewing the ads for their subscription service” because “ads should not state or imply that the service was available in all store locations, or that it covers their entire range of products if that wasn’t the case”.

A Pret spokesperson said that less than 1% of all coffee subscribers have raised any concerns about this issue. "However we always welcome feedback to try and provide the best possible experience for every customer. We continue to work with shop teams to make sure they have what they need to keep team members and customers happy, and we are incredibly grateful to all our colleagues for their hard work during this uniquely challenging time for the sector,” the spokesperson continued. 

Customers can subscribe to Pret a Manger's YourPret Barista online with the subscription loaded onto their Apple or Google digital wallets or accessed via emailed QR codes. 

The move was described as the flagship offer within the company’s strategic multichannel transformation programme to attract more people to the brand, which has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Other grab-and-go brands to have introduced subscription services in a bid to get their customers back into their sites include Leon and Pure. 

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