Pret A Manger ‘could introduce automated coffee dispensers'

Pret A Manger could be set to introduce automated coffee dispensers, according to sources reported by The Financial Times.

The coffee chain reportedly trademarked the term “Pret Express” with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office under “coffee vending machines and dispensing machines”.

Pret also registered the trademark “Pret Perks” according to The Financial Times, indicating it could be introducing a new loyalty scheme.
The move comes as the hospitality industry has been hit by rising staff costs and reduced footfall in urban areas.

Pret reduced its global workforce by 25 per cent during the pandemic and took out £150 million in bank loans according to sources reported by hospitality trade newsletter Propel.

In April, Pret stopped its dividend payment to shareholders citing “material uncertainties” and it has permanently closed 74 outlets in the UK over the past year.

Automation is thought to pose a threat to the number of those employed in the retail and hospitality industry.

Seven in ten - 70.69 per cent - of retail assistants and 72.81 per cent of waiting staff face the possibility of automation taking their jobs, according to research from electrical goods retailer Electrical Direct.

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