Another coffee subscription is now available to keep consumers safely caffeinated on demand. Coming soon to a Panera Bread location near you is a bottomless cup of coffee (or tea) – all day, every day. It will cost $8.99 per month to subscribe to the service, according to a CNBC report.
The move is part of Panera's overall upgrade of its cafe offerings, particularly at breakfast time, with additions like wraps and an expanded variety of coffee and tea options.
Although the subscription program does not include all of the new items, it does allow consumers their choice of hot coffee, cold coffee or tea. They will also get credit for their monthly subscription payment within Panera's points-based loyalty program.
Panera is not quite the first QSR player to push coffee on subscription – Burger King released its own variation of the offering in 2019. However, BK's version of coffee on subscription is a bit different than Panera's. It costs less, at $5 a month, but consumers get what they pay for: It includes only a single, small hot coffee per day. It is still a good deal, incidentally, as that adds up to about 17 cents a cup. But for a few dollars more per month, Panera subscribers can get all the coffee they can drink, every day.
And if Panera's internal data is accurate, "free" coffee is a draw for consumers, who tend to increase their visits from about four per month to about 10. And it seems people aren’t just dropping in for their free java and then taking off: Among the coffee subscribers, food sales ticked up a robust 70 percent. And it seems the program’s appeal goes beyond hard-core Panera loyalists, as about 25 percent of test subscribers were new to Panera's loyalty program.