Pret A Manger has revealed that its takeover of sandwich chain EAT is motivated by a fierce desire to “turbo-charge” plans for more vegetarian branches.
The 550-strong high street giant confirmed the takeover in an announcement yesterday – and made no secret of its intention to carry out a significant conversion programme once the deal has gone through.
CEO Clive Schlee said it is seeing growing consumer demand for more vegetarian and vegan options on the high street and would therefore seek to convert as many of EAT’s shops as possible to ‘Veggie Prets’.
The first permanent Veggie Pret was opened just under three years ago and has since expanded to three further locations across London and Manchester.
The acquisition is expected to significantly accelerate the growth of the brand as it will be easier to convert existing sites than find new locations.
Mr Schlee described: “The purpose of this deal is to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers who want delicious, high quality food and drink options. We have been developing the Veggie Pret concept for over two years and we now have four hugely successful shops across London and Manchester. The acquisition of the EAT estate is a wonderful opportunity to turbo-charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it.”
Andrew Aylwin, chairman of EAT, said that Pret is taking over a business that has demonstrated an outstanding recent performance due to a focus on great food and excellent service.”
“Pret is a fantastic brand and this transaction represents a strong strategic fit with benefits for all concerned,” he said.