Two years after launching their coffee subscription, Panera is expanding the concept to include any self-serve beverage.
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Assorted drinks from Panera
Credit: Courtesy of Panera

Restaurants love repeat customers, and over the past decade, a number of chains have been experimenting with subscription plans to keep them coming through the door. Olive Garden was an early adopter, first selling their Never Ending Pasta Pass in 2014. And as recently as last fall, Taco Bell launched a Taco Lover's Pass, offering a taco a day for a month at one low price.

Similarly, in 2020, Panera attempted to grab a larger part of the lucrative coffee crowd by introducing a subscription for hot coffee, hot tea, and iced coffee. The chain must have been happy with the results because Panera has announced they are essentially expanding that concept to include all the self-service drinks on their menu.

Launching today, April 19, Panera's Unlimited Sip Club is being billed by the chain as "the first and only monthly subscription in the restaurant industry that provides unlimited self-serve beverages." Beyond the three beverages included in the original coffee subscription, the Unlimited Sip Club includes 23 more beverages (so 26 in total) adding things like iced teas, Pepsi fountain beverages, agave lemonade, and Panera's new "Charged Lemonades" which are flavored lemonades with a caffeine boost.

"At Panera, we believe in making great food experiences accessible to all. We're disrupting fast casual once again, providing unlimited access to high-quality beverages at tremendous value," Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, explained. "Our guests have loved the subscription model and the convenience and value it brings to their daily lives. From our new Charged Lemonades to our fan favorite Passion Papaya Green Iced Tea to Bubly Lime from PepsiCo, we're excited to give our guests even more choice and more beverage options to fuel their day."

Whereas the coffee subscription debuted at $8.99 per month, this larger plan is launching at $10.99 per month and available to anyone who is a member of (or joins) the chain's free MyPanera loyalty program. And importantly, this new Sip Club is also replacing the old coffee plan, but a Panera spokesperson told us that existing coffee subscribers will be grandfathered into the Unlimited Sip Club and will keep their $8.99 per month pricing through the end of the year.

Finally, as an added bonus, Panera says anyone who signs up for membership by May 6 will get the Unlimited Sip Club subscription free until July 4 (no initial payment required, but you do have to provide credit card info). Plus, the chain has a promotion with T-Pain where the vocalist is giving away 1,000 three-month memberships for free over the next two days.