Pret a Manger, a national chain of coffee houses, has one solitary outlet in Norwich. It’s distinguished by the fact that it is one of the few venues in the city with a place in the sun during the afternoons. Bright days are too few to waste so I take full advantage of their £1 filter coffee and sunny aspect whenever I’m able. Pret is also distinguished by the fact that they don’t have a formal loyalty scheme. You know the kind of thing – swipe this, stamp that, tells us everything and we’ll give you a free crappafrappachino with every grand spent and we promise not to sell on your personal data to the Russians (yer, right). Instead, staff are encouraged to give away a free beverage to patrons whenever the mood takes them. It’s company policy. Back in the day, I was a regular beneficiary of a Pret freebie when I ordered my morning fix every weekday and 8:45. I like to think it’s because I looked quite the cock of the queue in my sharp business suit. Nowadays, my bargain bucket look goes unnoticed in Pret. At least that was I thinking last time I offered my pound coin to the nice young man with the hairy chest and pony tail. But then he said,
On the house.