Panera Bread Sets a Thirst Trap for Customers
Perhaps now more than ever, companies nationwide are getting creative to remain relevant. Just last week, Peloton announced increasing subscription rates and reduced equipment prices, and today, Panera Breads became the latest company to unveil big plans: the launch of its Unlimited Sip Club.
Building on the restaurant chain’s Coffee Club subscription, which launched for $8.99 per month last year, Panera’s Unlimited Sip Club will not only give customers unlimited hot or iced coffee or tea, but will also provide twenty-plus other unlimited drink options, including lemonade, fountain soda and the company’s new charged (caffeinated) lemonades, available in Fuji apple cranberry, mango citrus yuzu and strawberry lemon mint, for $10.99 per month.
Subscribers can choose one self-serve beverage of any size every two hours during regular bakery-cafe hours.
If Panera’s Unlimited Sip Club sees the success its Unlimited Coffee Club has — boasting 600,000 subscribers at the end of 2021 that spent 11 times more annually that fiscal year as compared to non-members, per Fox Business — it will go a long way towards drawing customers and increasing revenue.
Customers who sign up between now and May 6 will receive a free subscription through July 4.
Earlier this year, Panera also rolled out new food selections, including an Asian citrus chicken salad, a Thai chicken soup, a Mexican corn chowder soup and a chef chicken sandwich. CEO Niren Chaudhary told Fox Business the chain wanted to introduce more “adventurous flavors of the world.”
Panera’s willingness to adapt has proven especially useful in the face of record-high inflation, which Chaudhary said the company is watching “very carefully” and “taking whatever pricing actions” necessary to combat. Panera also struggled with labor disruptions last year, but according to Chaudhary, its cafes and bakeries are now fully staffed.
The introduction of its subscription addition also comes on the heels of other significant news: Panera will return to the public markets via a merger with Danny Meyer‘s special-purpose acquisition company USHG Acquisition Corp. (HUGS).
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