Pret A Manger kitchens could be configured to serve a broader menu in future after the Sandwich chain revealed this week it has begun piloting evening sit-down meals for the first time in its history.
The Strand branch of Pret in London is now offering evening meals from 6pm, with its traditional ‘grab and go’ concept transformed into a relaxed dinner venue complete with crockery, plated meals, a wine list and softer lighting.
The move will allow Pret’s kitchens to carry on producing food when they are normally at their quietest.
It is the first time that the chain has gone down this route in almost 30 years of trading, but management said the decision to kick off the trial follows demands from customers for an evening menu different to what they would normally find in-store.
It is understood that Pret chiefs have spent six months preparing for the trial, which could influence whether the approach is rolled out to other city stores.
Under the new set-up, customers are shown to their table when entering the store and are served at the table. However, they still order and pay at the tills.
The menu has been drawn up by the chain’s creative chef Nick Sandler and includes Korean BBQ pulled pork hotpot and a prosciutto topped macaroni cheese. The store serves the dishes up to 11pm.
Sandler told the Evening Standard: “If [customers] come in and say ‘we’re in a real hurry we’ve only got 20 minutes’ because they are going to the theatre we tell them they’ve got plenty of time to order, sit down and have their meal.
“But equally if someone’s got a bit longer to have a glass of wine and spend an hour with us that’s fine as well, we’re pretty relaxed about it.”
Pret operates around 300 stores in the UK, although management are understood to have no plans to extend the evening service to other outlets at this stage.