Pret a Manger will be putting a special sleeve on 120,000 coffee cups that they are encouraging customers to then give to a stranger, who will be able to redeem it for a free drink.
It’s being dubbed ‘Make Someone Smile’ and builds on Pret's existing alternative loyalty programme where staff are encouraged to randomly offer free beverages to customers.
Pret’s chief Clive Schlee explained this tact has worked much better than the traditional points based system, or giving a free coffee after someone has bought a certain number, and driven a lot of conversation on social media.
“We often get feedback from customers about how our shop teams have brightened up their day,” he said.
“Our teams love being able to make customers smile, and we hope the recipients of our special coffee sleeves enjoy being able to pass that joy onto somebody else themselves.”
Being the brand that helps foster random acts of kindness is a strategy that London-based psychologist Dr George Fieldman said will resonate with Pret consumers.
“Altruism – or the act of doing something for somebody else at a cost to yourself – has a fascinating effect on us. It can help us feel better about ourselves, and a simple act of kindness can create authentic feelings of joy; not just for the person on the receiving end, but also for the person doing the giving,” he explained.
“It’s great to see Pret setting this kindness into motion with customers. The cumulative incremental gains of these small kindly gestures could become quite huge!”
Pret is running the campaign until 28 February.