ORLANDO, Fla. - Ever wished you could pay a flat fee for endless coffee on the go? Panera Bread has brewed up a hot project with that very pitch, offering an unlimited coffee subscription for $8.99 a month.
Starting March 2, the bakery-café will serve unlimited coffee across its nearly 2,200 locations for those who sign up for the company’s free loyalty program and pay the $8.99 monthly subscription fee, plus tax. The promotion offers one cup of hot drip coffee, hot tea or iced coffee every two hours during regular Panera hours, in addition to free refills of the same drink at other locations.
“We're changing the game for coffee drinkers across the country with our no compromises, unlimited subscription service — great coffee at an amazing value,” Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO, said in a statement on Thursday.
“We are eliminating the price barrier and the false choices between convenience and quality – between good coffee and craveable food. At Panera, there's no more compromise — and your cup is always full.”
However, those who enjoy their daily cuppa in the form of cold brew iced coffee, espresso or cappuccino won’t be too happy to hear that those beverages are not included in the program, USA Today reports.
Though Panera claims to be “the first national restaurant company” to offer an unlimited monthly coffee subscription program, the premise is not entirely new.
Last March, Burger King tested an unlimited coffee program, good for one small hot coffee a day for $5 at any time. The trial was ultimately discontinued a few months later.
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Nevertheless, the coffee news from Panera had fans buzzing with excitement. One Twitter user even claimed to have gotten their first sip of their first "big ol free subscription coffee" on Thursday.
With over 160 million American adults drinking coffee every day, per Panera, the coffee cup has never looked quite so half-full.