Clive Schlee, Chief Executive of the coffee shop chain, told the London Evening Standard that staff have the power to give out freebies to their favourite customers, which may result in them being bombarded with compliments and declarations of love from people who'll do anything to get something for nothing.
Instead of a loyalty card system, "the staff have to give away a certain number of hot drinks and food every week," revealed Schlee. "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 A Manger has 374 outlets worldwide, 288 in the U.K., and Schlee is planning a massive expansion to rival Starbucks and McDonald's. He told the London Evening Standard: "We'd like to be a successful British global company — one that is really successful in different continents and that would be a very worthy goal. There's only been five or six companies over the years that have managed that and most of them have been U.S. companies. British ones have never really made it. We're going to do it bit by bit and quite cautiously. Starbucks has been around for 70 years, so you can't do this in one generation."
Pret doesn't keep its sandwiches overnight for use the next day, meaning the group gave away 3 million sandwiches and salads to homeless charities in 2014.
Pret's top selling item is the banana, followed by porridge. The most popular sandwich is the chicken caesar baguette, followed by the tuna sandwich.
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