UK Sandwich Chain’s Subscription Offer Falls Short, Draws Ire

Pret a Manger

If up to five drinks a day for 20 pounds a month sounds too good to be true, it just might be. That was the cautionary tale for U.K. sandwich chain Pret A Manger, after staff and customers balked at the company’s inability to deliver on its monthly drink subscription, according to a Wednesday (Dec. 22) report from the Financial Times.

Particularly in the wake of the pandemic, the popularity of subscription services – covering everything from food to video and audio streaming and more – has grown substantially. The retail subscription market is projected to have increased 41% since the beginning of the pandemic, as PYMNTS reported.

The trick for companies to stay ahead of subscription churn is to offer consumers more for their money. Pret A Manger’s subscription service snafu is akin to the limited value consumers see in the multitude of video streaming services. According to PYMNTS, 44% intend to cancel their subscriptions within the next six months, while nearly 60% are subscribed to more services than they were pre-pandemic.

Related news: Deep Dive: How Subscription Service Providers Can Stay Viable Amid Heightened Competition

For companies, subscription service is big business, as nearly 75% of the adult population in the U.S. subscribed to at least one subscription service in July 2020, according to PYMNTS’ research. That figure marks a 9% boost as compared to February 2020, with close to half of new subscribers planning to keep their subscriptions post-pandemic.

To thwart churn, merchants have sped up the time it takes for subscribers to sign up and gain access to the services, as PYMNTS reported. In addition, companies are offering users the ability to personalize subscriptions, with more than half of merchants allowing subscribers to modify their plan and 75% providing plan options.

See also: New Data: How to Keep 24.4M Consumers From Hitting ‘Unsubscribe’

The issue with Pret A Manger’s drink subscription, according to the Financial Times, is that the offer was subject to availability, a term that many customers missed. The company is launching the subscription program in the U.S. and France, according to the report.