Pret a Manger details tech behind new coffee subscription service

Sandwich and lunch food chain Pret a Manager has said the building blocks are now in place for it to become a “digitally-led, multichannel business” following the launch of its subscription service.

Having announced the ‘YourPret Barista’ subscription service, earlier this month, which allows consumers to pay £20 per month and receive up to five coffees a day, Pret has now released more details about the technology fuelling the service.

Marketing technology company Eagle Eye Solutions’ AIR platform has been implemented, which Pret said allows the business to become more insights-driven in its customer communications.

Ciara Chellun, global head of digital product at Pret, said: “Working with Eagle Eye has helped us accelerate our customer loyalty strategy and their integration with Oracle Simphony enables us to bring together in-shop customer and transactional data.

“We now have the building blocks to establish Pret as a digitally-led, multichannel business, and YourPret Barista is the first big launch we’re able to deliver through our new digital technology platform.”

‘YourPret Barista’ is the most high profile subscription service of its kind in UK hospitality, but the growth in popularity of subscriptions in 2020 and the need for physical retail and hospitality operators to pivot to survive in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic may mean similar models will arise at other companies in the months ahead.

A Barclaycard survey of 2,000 consumers, published in August, showed 65% of UK homes are signed up to regular subscription services, and estimated the UK subscriptions economy is worth £323 million. It found that spending on such services grew month-on-month during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Pret rolled out its service nationwide following a successful trial in Manchester. The subscription terms mean a customer can only redeem one of their five-a-day coffees every 30 minutes.

After signing up to the service, customers are emailed a unique digital voucher issued by Eagle Eye, which can be downloaded into Apple or Google Play mobile wallets on their smartphones. Customers then redeem their drinks by presenting the digital voucher for scanning at the till.

Eagle Eye said this process is made possible by the API-based integration between its AIR platform and Pret’s in-store Oracle Micros Simphony point of sale system.