Pret a Manger is eyeing up bringing its veggie pop-up to the City as Soho branch is made permanent

Francesca Washtell
Follow Francesca
Pret's veggie pop-up store opened in Soho in June (Source: Pret a Manger)

Lunchtime staple Pret a Manger is set to bring its green makeover to the City after the "overwhelming success" of its first vegetarian branch in Soho.

Pret opened its Veggie Pop-Up store on Broadwick Street on 1 June, initially intending to keep it open for a month.

However, after a boom in demand for its vegetarian and vegan offerings (beating the company's expectations of a 30 per cent sales drop) it has now been open 12 weeks and chief executive Clive Schlee announced in a blog post this morning that it will now stay in Broadwick Street permanently.

Read more: Pret a Manger... after dark

"We are now debating where to open the second Veggie Pret," Schlee said.

"The odds are that it will be a visible corner in the City of London, where we can convert an existing shop to a pop-up and see if it resonates with City workers before deciding whether or not to make it permanent.

"I hope we can bring Veggie Pret to more cities in due course," he added.

Last year Pret posted double digit growth in its vegetarian food items. Nearly 10,000 customers voted in a poll last year to shape Pret's improved veggie menu for its first pop-up, which offered 45 new vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Read more: Five things we learned about the way we eat now from Pret a Manger's annual results

Vegetarians will be rejoicing at the news, but omnivores will be too - more than 50 per cent of Veggie Pret customers also said they eat meat regularly.

Schlee believes the rise in popularity of avocados and other veggie offerings is partly linked to millennials, who are spurning meat and unhealthy foods in favour of more nourishing alternatives.

Schlee added:

What is it about the shop that has struck such a chord? Clearly, the move towards a plant-based diet is gathering momentum, especially among millennials. Vegetarians and vegans are an articulate and social media-savvy group.

Many of you have been advocating eating less meat for years and have been thrilled to see a major UK business take up the cause.