Pret a Manger: Should we open a vegetarian-only store?

Indian Summer

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A blog post by Clive Schlee, the CEO of Pret A Manger:
I regularly look at Pret's sales mix to see which food categories are growing and which are shrinking. Recently, there has been a distinct shift towards vegetarian. The top selling SuperBowl in our latest salad launch was Beets, Squash & Feta, beating chicken, salmon and crayfish alternatives. This would have been unheard of five years ago.
More: The great vegetarian debate | Pret A Manger (29. July 2015)

There are buttons to vote at the bottom of the blog post:
1) Open a vegetarian Pret A Manger
2) Devote a fridge to vegetarian food in every shop
3) Pret is fine as it is

Personally, I'm not sure. An exclusively vegetarian store is cool and all, but uh, how many of these were they planning to have? Or is he saying they would all be vegetarian?

If it's just going to be one or two of them, then I'm kinda leaning towards option 2 which could ensure veggie options even in backwards little towns like, say, Oxford.

Also, since I'm a vegan, I would hope the veggie options are going to be vegan.
 

PTree15

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I have heard of them, but I haven't eaten there very often. I remember seeing them in New York City. I, too, would want vegan options if it were to be a vegetarian shop.
 

hungryraccoon

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never heard of them
They're everywhere! Mind you, I don't know where you live so maybe not in your area. They have good vegetarian & vegan options & their coffee is really good.

Im going to vote for A just so they know the vegetarian demand is there. Their veggie stuff is already clearly labelled anyway. :)
 
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shyvas

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They're everywhere! Mind you, I don't know where you live so maybe not in your area. They have good vegetarian & vegan options & their coffee is really good.

Im going to vote for A just so they know the vegetarian demand is there. Their veggie stuff is already clearly labelled anyway. :)
That is good to know as I don't enjoy coffee unless it is made at home.:D
 
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Moll Flanders

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I voted for option B. I haven't been to Pret in ages but I'm sure I have bought vegan food in there before.
 

Indian Summer

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I kind of assumed, because of the French name, that it wasn't the kind of place that would even know how to spell vegetarian, let alone vegan! Now Jen is telling me she goes there sometimes and that their food is more veg-friendly than previously because of improved labeling.
 

shyvas

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Oh my gosh...me too! I feel like such a snob! [emoji2]
I don't !!!!! What is snobby when you just state what you like to eat or drink ?:D

I know a few people that also say that the best food is what you find at home.

I kind of assumed, because of the French name, that it wasn't the kind of place that would even know how to spell vegetarian, let alone vegan! Now Jen is telling me she goes there sometimes and that their food is more veg-friendly than previously because of improved labeling.
Jen's 'secret life' !:D
 
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Moll Flanders

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I don't drink coffee so I only end up in those types of places if I'm waiting to meet someone and I'm early. I think Costa Coffee was particularly bad as they had hardly any veg stuff in there.
 

shyvas

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Prêt a Manger is a UK firm using a French name which means ready to eat. I suppose that they think it is more chic having such a fancy name.

In my neighbourhood there is a restaurant that is open only during lunch hours and is called Fashion Food.
 

Amy SF

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I checked and they have no locations near me, so I know nothing of this company. But there ARE other vegan and vegan-friendly businesses where I live, so it's okay.
 

Tom L.

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I live in Upstate New York, and we only recently got a Whole Foods in our area- "Pret a Manger" is nowhere to be found here. I was going to ask if they even had any locations in the States, or if they were just European, but PTree15 already answered my question. 'Course, you can find almost ANYTHING in New York City- it has its faults, but it's a culinary goldmine.

I think they would have the most success, and be able to reach the most people, if they went with number 2: make vegetarian and vegan options available in all their stores. An exclusively veg store could be an option maybe in someplace like London or NYC.
 

Indian Summer

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Maybe they should do both 1 AND 2? That is probably the optimal solution. (Assuming that making all their stores entirely vegan isn't an option.)
 

Pirate

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I find that when Pret have vegan options they're really nice. However, a LOT of the time there are no vegan options. It just depends whatever food they're currently stocking. So I'd say keep it as it is as long as there's always vegan options.

The coffee is nice and cheap, I must say.
 

Indian Summer

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Vegetarian options, the craze for avocados and booming business in the US helped Pret A Manger serve up record sales last year.

The sandwich chain’s sales for the year to December rose 13.9% to £676.2m with sales at branches open a year or more up 7.5%. Earnings before interest, tax and other items increased 14.5% to £84.3m.

Sales of vegetarian products saw double-digit growth as customers sought to cut down on meat.
More: Pret a Manger sales rise as vegetarian range pleases foodies (19. April 2016)

BTW, looks like they have gone for option 1 in the original poll.
 

AeryFairy

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I'd love for them to have/stock more vegan options - every time I go in there on the off-chance, the vegan options are sold out completely. It's a shame because there's quite a lot of them around here, and there's one in the train station that I travel from all the time. It'd be nice to be able to buy lunch there.
 
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