Pret A Manger CEO Clive Schlee shared some early insights from the company’s veggie popup, and the results are impressive.
Initially, Schlee said the company expected the store to be an “investment.” In other words, Pret predicted sales might lag by up to 30 percent from its traditional predecessor. Instead, sales have skyrocketed by a staggering 70 percent.
Two weeks into the six-week experience, the enthusiastic public is already fueling a conversation about adding extra weeks to the project.
“This has taken us completely by surprise,” Schlee stated in a press release. “The shop is packed and this is the first time I have seen customers in London sitting on the floor to eat their lunch.”
The top-selling products at the popup are all vegan, which also raised some eyebrows. Schlee attributes the growing interest in vegetarian and vegan cuisine with the quality of meat and dairy alternatives on the modern market.
“Vegetarian [eating] is becoming much more mainstream and of course the more vegetarian food is available and the more attractive the textures and flavors, the less of a sacrifice you have to make,” he said.
Making the switch definitely didn’t turn out to be a sacrifice for Pret! There are even some rumbles about converting every fourth store into a Veggie Pret, but the company hasn’t made any official decisions.
To learn more about what The Good Food Institute does to make plant-based animal alternatives more delicious and profitable, see our website.