Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pret a Manger is Grocerant Niche Ready-2-Eat Success

Success does leave clues and after 30 years of “build, measure, lean and repeat. Pret a Manager is on a roll. The success may have started in the name. What’s in a name well at Pret a Manger literally means, “ready to eat”. Pret a Manager is British restaurant chain that has made a successful leap “across the Pond” to the US where it sells a variety of ready-to-eat foods & beverages. 

Julian Metcalfe and friend Sinclair Beecham opened their first location outside London’s Victoria Station some 30 years ago. Pret (as it’s known) now operates globally and sales are up “14% to £676MM ($987MM). While expansion is key to the company’s sales increases, same store sales (year over year were up 7.5% for stores open more than a year. Not surprisingly, profits increased 14.5% that’s not bad for a company 30 years old.  It’s kinda reminds us of how Starbucks solid growth is the American dream. 

Leveraging success clues by utilizing “build, measure, learn, and repeat Pret has succeeded by adapting its menu to American tastes: freshness is important for food that is brought in in bulk from local commissaries for the mostly urban locations.

Another adaptation is six salad dressing options for boxed meals (vs. one in the UK). And coffee is sold from self-serve containers, accounting for 80% of sales stateside (vs. Europe where 80% of customers want espresso-based drinks prepared by baristas).

It important to note that in a break from conventional restaurant management, the company pays above minimum wage in hopes of retaining loyal staff.  Now with year over year same store sales of 7.5% I would say its working. 

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® or for a Grocerant Scorecard visit,  Email:

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