This is why some people will get a free coffee at Pret A Manger in Sheffield - and how to get one

Pret A Manger Sheffield - Picture: Marisa Cashill
Pret A Manger Sheffield - Picture: Marisa Cashill
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Pret a Manger officially opened in Sheffield today and it's safe to say people are pretty happy.

Hundreds of customers queued yesterday to get a free lunch and the company is set to welcome thousands more through its door this weekend.

But, while customers may have missed the boat on a free lunch, it isn't too late to grab yourself a free coffee.

People have often been left confused while visiting Pret as to why they have been given a coffee for free for no apparent reason.

The secret, it turns out, is all to do with a cunning marketing strategy designed to help them stand out from the crowd.

Last year, Pret gave away 1.7 million coffees to customers as part of its pledge to create 'random acts of kindness'.

A few years ago, Pret's chief executive Clive Schlee revealed employees were allowed to give out a free coffee to anyone they fancy.

Sadly, there are no rules on who gets the freebie but Mr Schlee revealed staff could give one away to a regular, to welcome a new customer or to anyone who needed cheering up.

Mr Schlee said: "A couple of years ago, Pret decided to channel the cash we could have spent running loyalty card programmes into a fund for each shop to spend on rewarding its customers.

"It was as simple as that. We didn't tell our team members whom they should favour. We let them decide.

"Pret employees tell me that the freedom to give a free coffee is immensely empowering. It injects a random act of kindness into the day. It gives delight and hurts not."

If you've been given a free drink at Pret, get in touch and let us know about it.