How Pret promotes random acts of kindness

I just learned that the Pret cafés have a really cool thing going: They let their employees do random acts of kindness by giving away free coffees.

Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee explains it like this:

A couple of years ago, Pret decided to channel the cash we could have spent running loyalty card programmes into a fund for each shop to spend on rewarding its customers. It was as simple as that. We didn’t tell our team members whom they should favour. We let them decide. They could welcome a new customer, cheer up somebody having a bad day or recognise a regular. They could use it to solve a problem. Like everything in Pret, it’s just about lots of individual human relationships, day after day after day.

I love that. Not only is it likely to make customers happy, it will also make employees happier at work because (as research clearly shows) when you do do nice things for others, makes you happier yourself.

As Schlee puts it:

Pret employees tell me that the freedom to give a free coffee is immensely empowering. It injects a random act of kindness into the day. It gives delight and hurts not.

What an incredibly simple but brilliant policy.

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