High street sandwich chain Pret a Manger is trialling self-serve coffee kiosks, with 'Pret Express' to be rolled out in shops, petrol station forecourts healthcare facilities and workplaces.
The move is set to rival Costa's in-store kiosk offering, as consumer habits change due to new working and commuting patterns post-COVID.
Pret said Kiosks will be rolled out in 20 outlets in the next 12 months.
“This is new territory for Pret, which will allow more people across the country to enjoy Pret’s organic coffee and tea on the go, in places where there isn’t the right space to set up a new Pret shop," said Guy Meakin, Pret's UK trading director.
It follows the launch of its coffee subscription service last year, where customers pay £20 a month for unlimited coffees. Pret said it is the next step in the chain's transformation.
Pret also recently announced ambitious plans to open 200 more shops across the UK over the next two years.
An expansion drive would see the chain double the size of its business within the next five years. It is aiming to hire at least 3,000 new staff by the end of 2023.
The move is the latest in a number of staff-free innovations in the retail sector, as a labour crunch hits the UK market.
Earlier this month, Tesco (TSCO.L) opened a checkout-free store in London. The supermarket partnered with Israeli company Trigo, which described the store as "fully autonomous".
The new technology works with a combination of cameras and weight sensors, which will establish what customers have picked up — these will then be charged directly through the app when customers leave the shop.
Watch: Tesco opens checkout-free store in Holborn