Pret A Manger has increased the price of its coffee subscription to PS25 per month, prompting some criticism from its customers.
According to High Street, ingredients and staff costs were increasing and that VAT was about doubling.
Some subscribers who had previously paid PS20 per month for up five “barista-prepared drinks” per day, took to Twitter to complain.
Others, however, said that the subscription was still worth it.
For new subscribers, the 25% price increase will take effect on Thursday and for those who have an existing subscription on March 16.
Pret launched the subscription service to win back lost business during lockdowns. Although it created a buzz on social media initially, some customers complained about the lack of popular beverages. Former Pret employees claimed that some workers felt overwhelmed by the scheme’s popularity.
Pret spokesperson stated that since 2020, the prices of ingredients like coffee beans and milk have risen, VAT has increased to 20% and additional pay was made for Pret Team members.
“We believe that the coffee subscription will continue to be of great value.”
Sam Anton, a Twitter user, wrote that this was unacceptable. Prices cannot be raised without consulting, especially when the produce quality is declining. I will cancel my subscription. Disappointing.”
Others customers described it as “bad information” and others said that they were cancelling memberships.
Other customers agreed that the subscription was still worth it.
Twitter user Jodie Portuguese wrote: “Just got an email from #pret informing me that my subscription will increase to PS25 per month for 5 drinks per day which would be approximately PS150+. So for the price of an additional drink and croissant, I still save a lot.”
Another customer said they were willing to pay PS40 for the subscription.
Pret stated in an email to customers, that the additional PS5 charge will cover VAT. PS1.50 would be used on staff pay and PS1.50 will offset inflation.
In January, the sandwich chain announced that it would increase pay for thousands of employees to PS10 an hour.
Aside from that, April will see a return to 20% in tax for people who buy goods and services (VAT) after it was cut during the pandemic.
Pret, as an employer, will have a higher National Insurance bill starting April. This is due to the government’s decision to increase NI rates in order to fund NHS and Social Care spending.
Pret uses Arabica coffee beans. The price Pret pays has increased by 40% over 2020 levels. However, the cost of milk also has gone up.