‘Pret-a-Tesco’? New concept to be trialled instore for beleaguered cafe and food-to-go chain
Pret a Manger – once the popular port of call for busy commuters – has been sorely hit by the pandemic – with its core client base now working from home.
In a bid to recover, the cafe chain will trial opening its concessions in Tesco supermarkets, according to a BBC report.
With the remote working trend set to continue post-pandemic, Pret s it is affectionately known, is exploring new ways to operate. “We’re transforming our business model to adjust to a new way of living and working,” said Pret.
The move will initially involve just four Pret branches opening in Tesco stores, but depending on results, it will spread into other Tesco stores. The first shop will open in Tesco’s Kensington superstore in London in June, with three other shops set to open later in the summer.
There are currently no Pret outlets in Northern Ireland – however that may change if the roll out proves successful.
The company launched its first grocery food range in Tesco earlier this year, selling frozen croissants and granola through the supermarket.
The move is the latest attempt by Pret to adapt to the changes imposed by coronavirus. In the days before Covid struck, the food chain’s extensive network of branches in prime urban locations was seen as its greatest strength. As the lock downs dramatically reduced the number of commuters, the firm became a symbol of the economic woes inflicted by the pandemic.
During 2020, it closed 74 outlets in the UK and 22 in the US, shedding 3,000 jobs as part of a rescue plan to save the business.
New business model
“As the UK emerges from lockdown, this partnership with Tesco is one way in which we’re transforming our business model,” said Pano Christou, Pret’s chief executive.
In a bid to drive footfall and sales, Pret also introduced a subscription service, allowing customers up to five cups of coffee a day for a £20 monthly fee, while Pret-branded ground coffee and espresso beans are now available via Amazon.