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Web Summit Vs Pret a Manger: Why both are the future of Customer Experience

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Why am I making the link between a world class event about new tech, Web Summit; and my Pret favourite soup, curry chicken?

Web Summit is the so-called Davos for geeks (Bloomberg). Thousands of specialists from hundreds of industries are there to speak about their technological innovation, or to look for the new disruptive ideas to bring success for them and their organisation.

We believe that smooth, useful and hassle-free journey is a must for the user.

We know that if your digital services don’t provide the expected basic level of service, you won’t survive in today’s market. The problem for brands today is that world class disruptors like Amazon or Uber have set the new high standards of user experience. Technologies are tools to reach these expectations quicker and for a greater number of people.

We see our attendance at Web Summit as an opportunity to understand what the new standards are, who is leading, and identify future trends. We also plan to collect ideas.

Looking at the conference programme, one might understand that customer expectations are not only focused on Artificial Intelligence and Robots, but fundamentally related to values such as privacy, fun, happiness, trust and sustainability.

So if Web Summit is a great place to think, to understand and to find your business of tomorrow, what is the role of Pret in the future of customer experience?

Pret reminds us that customer experience is not just about technology. Besides having a warm place to sit, friendly associates and good food, Pret is willing to make the best out of Humans.

A little postcard near the till tells us that People (not Machines) are running the business every day to make our journey so smooth.

“My name is … and I’m the General Manager of the Pret shop. My team and I meet every morning. We discuss the comments you’ve made; the good, the bad and the ugly. If we can deal with it ourselves, we will. If we can’t, I’ll forward this card to Clive, our CEO back at the office. I know he’ll do what he can. If you have a minute, please do speak to me or one of my team right now.”

This is a very good example of how employees and managers up to CEO show their engagement to create successful customer experience. Customer satisfaction bring smiles to the employee face, which brings a smile onto mine. Machines can’t do that.

The future of customer experience is this dual strategy of making the most of technologies, because they can add new services, improve efficiency, reduce boring tasks for customers and employees, but at the same time making the most of humans, who can contribute with their intelligence and proactivity to a very successful business and happy customers.

If you are going to Web Summit, or you would like to have a coffee or chicken soup in Pret, then please drop me a line. My email is

Claire Bonniol, CEO & co-Founder, CXB HUB

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