Panera Bread Is Offering Customers Free Drinks All Summer

Delivery drivers are loving it.

Panera store exterior
Updated July 18, 2024
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Panera Bread is offering free drinks all summer long — and cashing in on them is as easy as signing up for a free trial of the restaurant's Unlimited Sip Club. Members say it's a great deal, but only if you're constantly near a Panera. 

The most surprising advocates of the deal are delivery drivers, who can stop in multiple times a day to grab a beverage and stay hydrated. 

First-time members are being offered a free three-month trial of Unlimited Sip Club, which is long enough to take advantage of the free drinks for the rest of the summer before the monthly fee begins.  It's such a clever way to treat yourself while saving money

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What drinks are included?

Courtesy of Panera Bread Panera Bread drinks

The Unlimited Sip Club allows members to get complimentary beverages all day, every day. This includes iced and hot coffee, iced and hot teas, fountain drinks, and "bubbler drinks" such as lemonades. 

This deal does not include packaged beverages, smoothies, frozen blended drinks, hot chocolate, cold brew iced coffee, or espresso and cappuccino beverages. Additional customizations, such as syrups, may also have associated charges. 


Additional perks

Courtesy of Panera Bread Panera Bread delivery

Unlimited Sip Club membership includes other perks and bonuses, such as $0 delivery, Saturday deals, and birthday treats — but the only perk consumers rave about is free drinks. 

What sounds like free delivery is steeped in terms of service tricks that specify the maximum delivery fee discount is $1 and "menu prices for delivery are higher, and charges and fees apply." This means the determining factor on whether or not this deal benefits you is how many times per week you can conveniently swing by a Panera to pick up a drink. 

How much can I save?

Ghen Money in a cup

After the free three-month trial period, a recurring monthly fee of $14.99 will automatically be charged to your credit card. This is increased by approximately $3 from last year's pricing, but it may still be worth it if you plan to drink three or more per week. 

The online Panera menu doesn't display any pricing, but conservatively estimating drinks at about $3 each would only take five visits per month to break even. For consumers constantly on the go, such as delivery drivers, these savings can stack up when there are multiple daily visits. 

There is a two-hour recharge time between free beverages, so a daily limit is based on the store's available hours. 

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The downsides

Courtesy of Panera Bread Panera Bread coffee and sandwich

The biggest potential drawback is forgetting to cancel your subscription if you aren't using the service's perks — but that's true of any subscription-based model. The hidden costs to consumers are likely in data privacy, as Panera requires a user account before displaying menu pricing. (Still, this isn't unique to the company and generally falls outside the scope of consumer power.)

Bottom line

Roman Tiraspolsky Panera Bread store exterior

What you see is essentially what you get with Panera Bread's Unlimited Sip Club: a free drink every two hours. It's a great deal for anybody who spends a large portion of their day near a restaurant location or dines there several times a month. 


Author Details

Cassandra Yorgey

Cassandra Yorgey is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience covering a multitude of topics ranging from science-fiction and fantasy genre reviews to the impacts of sociological developments on the political landscape. She champions financial literacy and consumer protections that value human life over monetary profits. She has been featured in both online and print publications, including AOL, Examiner, MSN, Exemplore, Yellowbook, and Wealth of Geeks.