Airside Operations At London City Airport Ltd.
Matthew Lloydg—Bloomberg / Getty Images
April 21, 2015 12:21 PM EDT

If you’ve ever dined at Pret A Manger, you might have received a free coffee, or noticed another customer getting one, for no reason at all. But it turns out there is a reason for this, and it’s all part of CEO’s Clive Schlee’s business strategy.

Schlee has given all employees the power to hand out free drinks (or even, sometimes, free food) to customers they like best. They can give out a limited number of items each week, and that means 28% of customers receive something free.

It just depends on whether or not the staff finds you attractive and likable.

“They will decide ‘I like the person on the bicycle’ or ‘I like the guy in that tie’ or ‘I fancy that girl or that boy,'” Schlee told the London Evening Standard. He said the company thought about offering loyalty cards, but ultimately “didn’t want to spend all that money building up some complicated Clubcard-style analysis.”

Occasionally giving customers free stuff is part of Schlee’s strategy to eventually become as big as McDonald’s or Starbucks, with shops all over the world.

So, next time you’re in Pret, try flashing an extra-special smile at the employees or wearing your cutest shirt. Maybe you’ll get a free cookie out of it.

(h/t Business Insider)


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