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Pret A Manger: The Story of a Tiny Bread Company that is Taking Over the World

Pret A Manger:

Pret a manger is a French phrase for “ready to eat” and the name of an international restaurant chain serving French cuisine. The first Pret A Manger shop was opened in London’s Neal Street in 1986 by mother-daughter team Claire and Julian Metcalfe. The couple were unhappy with the food served at existing sandwich shops and wanted to create a healthier alternative. The business has grown rapidly since its opening and has expanded overseas, now operating over 500 shops across seven countries.

The chain is aimed at diners who do not have time to cook but want freshly prepared ready-made meals and sandwich ingredients. Pret bags are made from recycled material and some of the packaging is recyclable. The company’s choice of the word “pret” has led to it becoming associated with eating and being on the go.

Whilst the business began as a sandwich shop, it now offers a full range of take-away items including salads, sandwiches, soups and quiches. They use organic flour and other ingredients include free-range eggs to make Pret baguettes. The chain’s products advertised as ‘always fresh’ and all served with a choice of four dressings.

“Pret A Manger Menu”

Pret a manger’s menu features a range of products that are fresher than the competition and healthier than traditional fast food restaurants. The chain’s motto is “fresh and hand-made”, and they feature products that are handmade on site, such as baguettes, salads, soups, sandwiches, desserts , juices and smoothies. The aim is to provide customers with food that is “satisfying, hand-made with integrity, flavourful and affordable”.

What makes Pret A Manger unique ?

Pret is quick, convenient and always fresh, customers can eat in or take away. The menu is all about healthy foods that are as tasty, nutritious and convenient as possible.

Pret has:

Authenticity: Pret’s range of freshly made, homemade food and drinks deliver what it says – “freshly prepared in front of you”, the staff are always on the go, smiling and friendly. The shops vary greatly depending on the location but locals can be assured that everything is freshly made for them every day.

Originality: Pret A Manger’s vision is to make it easier for people to eat well and do the right thing. It does this by offering an alternative to other grab-and-go franchises in the UK and abroad.

Pret also has a traditional ‘bakery’ section which makes fresh bread in all their restaurants. They use organic flour, stoneground whole wheat and non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.

How Pret A Manger Became a Global Brand ?

Pret has grown incredibly in the last 18 years and now has over 500 shops across five continents. The expansion overseas was partly due to demand from foreign tourists in the UK, but also because of the brand succeeding in other major cities across the world.

Throughout its eighteen-year history, Pret A Manger has always maintained a policy of not franchising – meaning there are no plans for future expansion. There are currently shops located throughout London, Paris and New York and also a handful in Miami and San Diego. The positioning of the shops is a key factor in the success of Pret.

The unique atmosphere is another key factor in Pret’s expansion. Pret’s atmosphere provides customers with a pleasant and cheerful environment to enjoy their food in peace – especially during their lunch break from work.

Pret a manger’s target audience is a key factor in the brand’s success. They target people currently working hard at their jobs and need to eat light, fresh meals to get through the day. Pret not only offers great food but also has a welcoming environment for people to enjoy their meals in peace.

The slogan ‘Always Fresh’ is another key factor in Pret’s growth potential. Pret committed to always sell fresh and tasty food. The ingredients are all natural, making the food that much more appealing and delicious for customers.

The Pret Foundation

Pret A Manger founded the Pret Foundation, a charitable foundation that supports a variety of community initiatives across the world.

The foundation supports organisations that have a positive impact on the communities around them. It does this through funding, volunteering and by working directly with local people to implement change. The foundation works with grassroots groups, educational institutions and other non-profit organisations based in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Miami.

The main focus of the Pret Foundation is on community and education. The foundation has set up a number of projects including:

Eating Together – which encourages children and young people to learn about nutrition and sharing healthy food in schools around London.

The Young Entrepreneurs Challenge – which helps inspire young entrepreneurs in the US to start their own businesses by providing funding and mentoring.

Outdoor Learning – which promotes children’s active play through the building of playgrounds in deprived areas of London.

School Food Focus – which engages with schools, parents and other stakeholders to improve school meal provision in London.

FareShare – which gives meals to people who are homeless or in need of food assistance.

The Pret Foundation also runs a number of events throughout the year to support its different projects. These events include Pret a Manger’s Big Feastival, which provides free food and music to people in need. The foundation also has a volunteer programme that allows people to work on the ground with local partners.

The Pret Coffee Subscription

Pret A Manger offers a subscription service for coffee lovers. The subscription allows customers to receive a free coffee on their birthdays and all other order will be rewarded with a free, freshly made, cup of coffee. The service is available at all 32 UK branches.

“Pret A Manger Awards”

Pret A Manger has won a number of awards in the last few years. They won a Gold Award in the ‘Best Retailer’ category at the British High Street Awards 2017, a Gold Award in the ‘Best Buy-O-Matic’ category at the British High Street Awards 2018 and they have also won a Silver Online Digital Retail Award at The British Online Retail Awards 2018.

Final Thoughts

Pret A Manger has grown from a single shop in London to over 500 shops across the world. Their expansion overseas was partly due to demand from foreign tourists in the UK, but also because of the brand succeeding in other major cities across the world. Although their expansion has been rapid, they have managed to maintain a unique atmosphere which is very appealing to visitors and locals looking for a place to eat or take away.

For more information about Pret a Manger, please visit the website:

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