Waitrose’s Free Coffee Offer Turning Store into Soup Kitchen?

For those of you who aren’t signed up with a Waitrose card, do it now. Really quick, because given their worries I can see them stopping running the scheme soon.

With a Waitrose card, for which there is no fee and no joining requirements, you can grab a free tea or coffee every time you go into Waitrose, either to drink in or take-out. 

Whilst you’re there signing up, you should also sign up for a John Lewis card, which will get you free coffee and cake once a month. And their cake is pretty fantastic.

Anyway, this free hot drink card has understandably been hugely popular. Many people of course opt for take-out drinks, some to carry around the store with them whilst they shop. And obviously, as many people can’t pass up a free anything, this has attracted a lot of new people to the scheme, many of them not of Waitrose’s usual clientele. Waitrose does have a certain reputation after all, as a middle-class supermarket where the slightly posher types do their shopping at inflated prices.

Because of that reputation, and the slightly less middle-class people that are popping in for their free drinks now, Waitrose are starting to worry that they’re “turning into a soup kitchen”. That’s right; too many poor people are going to Waitrose now and they’re scared that they now look like somewhere tramps go for dinner. 

Overreaction? No, it’s totally reasonable to suggest that a broadened customer demographic makes your store look cheap and trampy. 

Ari Carrington