Sandwich store Pret A Manger has announced that it will be offering free Wi-Fi in the majority of its branches, following a successful trial.

Pret trialed the service, which is provided by The Cloud, for six months in a number of its stores up and down the country. Following successful results, the chain has signed a five-year deal with the Cloud, which extends the Wi-Fi access to 170 of its 190 branches across the UK.

Pret follows in the footsteps of McDonalds and Coffee Republic, which both already offer their customers free Wi-Fi access.

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Simon Hargraves, Pret a Manger's food and communications director, told The Times: "You don't need a pin number, you don't need to buy anything and there's no restriction on how long you can be online. We trialled it at a couple of our big regional stores and found people did not take advantage of it - they did not treat it like a library.

"Wi-Fi opens up Pret A Manger as a place to hold meetings outside lunch times. We hope it will encourage people to come in the down times."

However, Ian Fogg, principal analyst at Forrester Research, told The Times: "Now you can get cheap deals for mobile broadband it has made it very hard to charge for Wi-Fi in cafes".

See also: BT Openzone customers lose access to The Cloud