Fresh food and organic coffee aren’t the only things Pret A Manger has been serving since it opened its doors in London in 1986. The international sandwich shop franchise has offered customers convenience and quality, all while helping communities with initiatives to alleviate poverty and hunger.
Even as the brand transforms in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pret is still meeting people where they are. But this time, it’s in the comfort of their homes or during their daily routines.
With the launch of the Pret Coffee Subscription, customers can enjoy their favorite coffee or tea every day with a monthly subscription price that’s equivalent to paying for two drinks a week. Customers can subscribe via the Pret app on iOS or android devices, which allows them to order menu items ahead for pick up and to earn free rewards. In addition, the company has expanded its delivery services.
For Thomas Trautmann, senior vice president of finance, real estate, supply chain, and franchising for Pret A Manger North America, the expansion of the company’s digital footprint was a way to revitalize what the brand stands for and to bring more clarity to the brand image.
Trautmann feels the expansion will help the company prepare for the future, especially after grappling with trying times at the start of the pandemic. At the time, Pret had to close seventeen units across the US when domestic sales fell 87 percent. It also had to permanently shutter thirty locations in the UK.
Company leadership decided it was time for Pret to reinvent itself and redefine its brand in the face of those losses. Out of those considerations came a new vision to “spread joy at every interaction with the brand,” according to Marketing Interactive. Jane Walker, global brand and communications director at Pret, told the site that the new brand identity is “freshly made for the digital age while also being deeply rooted in Pret’s legacy as a generous brand.”
“Our business has gone through huge changes over the past two years, and we recognized the need to bake our new identity into every asset, interaction, and touchpoint,” she said. “As we expand into new markets and channels, many people’s first interaction with Pret will be outside of our shops, so we wanted to ensure these customers get that same feeling as those visiting in-store.”
Armed with a new vision and purpose, Pret closed out 2022 strong across the world. It announced a partnership with Dallas Holdings last December to build a network of restaurants across Southern California. A unit is also slated for Hudson Yards in New York City. In England, Pret opened new shops in Essex, Twickenham, and Harrogate, while forming new partnerships in Ireland, Canada, and the Middle East.
“We’ve been seeing steady growth week over week as customers and businesses continue to return to the office,” Jorrie Bruffett, president of Pret A Manger North America, told Restaurant Dive in December 2022. “This shift has aided in our recovery efforts and even our coffee orders have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels. We believe this is the right time to identify new partners to help us enter new markets where we know there is a demand for Pret.”
“Working with Thomas is a pleasure. Very pragmatic and able to find solutions swiftly. Challenges views to reach positive and innovative outcomes. Thomas is certainly able to adapt to various areas from finance, property, legal, and operations. Looking forward to growing a presence together through parts of the US.”
—Shane S. Thakrar, CEO, Dallas Holdings Inc.
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