Pret A Manger launches coffee vending machines

UK-based sandwich and coffee chain Pret A Manger is planning to launch automated self-service coffee machines as it faces severe staff shortages and dwindling commuter footfall. The coffee giant is understood to have trademarked “Pret Express” with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office under “coffee vending machines and dispensing machines”, according to The Financial Times.

Forced to close 17 of its branches last month, Pret filed a trademark for “Pret Perks” pointing to a new loyalty scheme to go alongside this its new vending machine venture. While a spokesperson for the brand said they “did not comment on speculation”, the move is expected to be the retailer’s latest effort to diversify its offering amid ongoing challenges to the sector.