Panera's customer speaking with drink outside with caption 'the only lifehack u need' (l) Panera's branded cup in restaurant (c) Panera's customer speaking with drink outside (r)

Deutschlandreform/Shutterstock @sodakhtar/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘$10 freaking bucks a month and you get unlimited drinks’: Customer says becoming part of Panera’s Sip Club has been his ‘greatest life hack’

'Try to cancel and they offer a lower amount!'


Eric Webb


Posted on Jul 7, 2023   Updated on Jul 18, 2023, 3:25 pm CDT

Beverage hive, rise up. This TikTok video purports to contain the secret to full-time sipping and it has to do with Panera Bread’s Unlimited Sip Club.

Creator Sod Akhtar (@sodakhtar) recently sang the praises of Panera’s subscription program, in a video that has almost 27,000 likes and 304,000 views.

@sodakhtar BIG STEP for financial freedom #panera #panerasipclub #nyc #freedrinks #drinks ♬ original sound – sod akhtar

In the video, the creator walks down the street, as he sips his coffee and speaks to the camera.

“My greatest life hack in New York about living here for a year now … is being a part of the Panera Sip Club” For $10 a month, he said, customers can get one drink per hour at the cafe chain. 

“I literally go out of my way to this Panera to just keep getting free drinks,” the creator says, ending the video with, “Some of y’all aren’t part of the Sip Club, and it shows.”

The TikToker cheekily called the hack a “BIG STEP for financial freedom” in the video’s caption.

A number of viewers seconded the creator’s recommendation, adding their own tips as well.

One comment read, “I agree stock up on green tea and cold brews and stock up. I always order them with no ice and keep in [the] fridge.”

Another person suggested, “Try to cancel and they offer a lower amount!”

But some weren’t as impressed by Panera’s Sip Club.

“They [need to] include premium drinks like smoothies in there,” a viewer pointed out.

One person claimed, “I’ve never paid for Panera drinks if you just take them they don’t care,” and another echoed, “Panera drinks r free iykyk.”

“Dorks like you single-handedly keeping Panera afloat,” wrote someone else, also making fun of the TikToker’s decision to pay for the Panera Sip Club subscription instead of simply stealing drinks.

We checked out Panera Bread’s website. A monthly subscription costs $11.99, but the yearly package of $119.99 works out to the TikToker’s $10 a month. However, Akhtar erroneously claims that the subscription entitles customers to a free drink every hour.

According to Panera, Sip Club members can only redeem a new drink every two hours, although you can get free refills for that drink in the meantime. Cold brew, espresso drinks, and “other beverages” are not included in the subscription. You also need to be a member of the MyPanera program to sign up.

And if you thought the TikToker’s “24 drinks in one day” sounded impossible, there are two Panera locations at New York’s Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Ave. that can make that dream come true. The cafe near the emergency room entrance is open 24/7, and the one near the First Avenue entrance is open 24 hours on the weekend, according to the chain’s website.

But, a word to the wise: if you use your Unlimited Sip Club membership to get endless Charged Lemonade, know that the drink has caffeine in it, as one TikTok creator recently learned the hard way.

Update July 18, 3:24pm CT: In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Akhtar said that he and his friend filming the video realized that they buy drinks at bodegas all the time. “After calculating the total we found out we spend quite a bit on drinks, but we realized that we could save so much money by using the Panera Sip Club,” he said.

Now, when he’s thirsty, he heads straight to Panera as a rule, he said.

“Truth be told I had the membership for a while and did not understand the gravity of how special it was until I saw the $5 bodega charges adding up,” Akhtar said.

He’s been pleased with the positive response from viewers. Akhtar would like to see other restaurant chains implement similar subscription services.

The Daily Dot reached out to Panera Bread via email.

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*First Published: Jul 7, 2023, 1:15 pm CDT