Pret has shifted most of its US business into a joint venture with Dallas Holdings. This deal involves Dallas taking over the running of 50 Pret stores located in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. In addition, Dallas has gained the unique right to set up new Pret stores in these regions, introducing options like drive-through services and menus adjusted with slightly different ingredients and meal sizes.
The joint venture includes 58 stores altogether, with Dallas having a major share of 70%. They plan to open more than ten additional stores on the East Coast by 2026, with the ambition of tripling Pret's American business within the next five years.
Pano Christou, the boss of Pret A Manger, explained the strategy as a 'divide and conquer' approach. He shared that doing everything independently was possible, but there was a limit to their reach. With Dallas controlling a 70% share and overseeing daily business, the arrangement resembles a franchise model rather than just a joint initiative.
Christou revealed they are exploring spaces in East Coast airports and have designs on opening three new outlets in New York's Penn Station, known for being the US's most crowded railway station. He showed enthusiasm for the prospect of drive-through Pret stores in the US, a feature he finds uniquely promising in the American market.
Pret stores in the US will tweak their menu offerings compared to their UK counterparts to cater to American tastes. For instance, US stores will use burrata cheese instead of mozzarella, lobster instead of crayfish, and feta cheese in their top-selling tomato soup.
Dallas, which teamed up with Pret 18 months earlier, currently operates eight Pret locations in Britain. They're also committed to establishing and running over 40 Pret outlets in southern California under a franchise deal.
By 2026, Dallas is set to manage over 100 Pret locations in the US and the UK.