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Panera expands beverage subscription service

a clear plastic cup sits on a red countertop. It contains a dark soda and is covered in condensation. A straw is inserted into the lid.

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Panera, the St. Louis-based fast-casual chain, is expanding its existing coffee subscription service to include all non-espresso beverages from soda to tea to lemonade and increasing the monthly fee from $8.99 to $10.99, Richard writes.

Why it matters: Panera was an early adopter of subscription services, an offering more associated with software companies and streamers, and its expansion into this area highlights the growth opportunity for the company and its peers.

Details: After experimenting with a coffee subscription program that reinvigorated Panera's breakfast business, the company wanted to expand that to bring more customers in for lunch and dinner, CEO Niren Chaudhary tells Richard.

  • Existing coffee subscribers can either upgrade or continue their existing coffee-only subscription until the end of the year.

By the numbers: Today the coffee subscription offering has more than 300,000 active members.

  • That program added about 1% in comparable sales growth on an annual basis, Chaudhary said.
  • About one out of three visits by coffee subscribers lead to the purchase of an additional product.
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