NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pret A Manger, a London-based quick serve restaurant and coffee shop offering natural food prepared fresh daily, has announced Robert Naylor as President of U.S. operations. Naylor comes to Pret with over 30 years of retail experience, most recently having overseen operations for both Starbucks Asia Pacific and Starbucks France. With oversight of Pret's U.S. locations, Naylor will also focus on the company's ongoing and future retail expansion.
Worldwide Pret has more than 300 locations, mostly in the U.K., as well as in Paris and Hong Kong. The first Pret shop was opened in the U.S. in 2000 and has since expanded to 53 locations throughout New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Boston. The company has become vital to these urban environments. In fact, the eight U.S. shops that have opened in 2013 translate into roughly 250 new jobs. Pret's short-term goal for growth and expansion is to double the number of U.S. stores.
"We are thrilled to welcome Rob to the Pret family once again," said Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret A Manger. Prior to Starbucks, Naylor served as Managing Director to Pret A Manger Asia. "We know his incredible experience will serve Pret well during this amazing period of growth in which we're now a significant player in the premium and natural quick-serve category."
Under Naylor's guidance, Pret A Manger will continue to introduce new products into its' U.S. menu. Most recently Pret has enhanced and expanded its' most popular category—sandwiches, with inspired fixings such as a new 6-grain artisan bread baked in-house, goat cheese from Vermont, as well as a rotating list of seasonal ingredients like shredded beets and wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon. Additionally, Pret's salad re-launch earlier this summer consisted of six new salads with premium ingredients such as Marine Stewardship Council certified Albacore tuna, avocados and Italian prosciutto.
Pret's high standards are not only evident in its food, but also in the empowerment of its team members. The company takes great pride in celebrating their accomplishments to create a fun, engaging atmosphere, which translates to a high level of customer service and employee retention in each shop. This year alone, over 30% of Pret managers will be promoted from within.
"I am very honored to be the guardian of Pret's culture, which has always been fresh and a little quirky," said Robert Naylor. "While Pret is a global brand, we're really empowered on a local level to meet the needs and preferences of our U.S. customers. I want Pret to continue to be an industry leader in this space, by consistently upgrading ingredients and menu items to ensure incremental deliciousness."
About Pret A Manger
Founded in London in 1986, Pret A Manger ("Ready to Eat") is a quick serve restaurant and coffee bar creating handmade, natural food prepared fresh from scratch everyday. Pret A Manger is a privately held company with over 300 stores located in the UK, Hong Kong, Paris and the United States. Pret currently has over 50 US stores in New York, DC, Chicago and Boston.
Every Pret shop is equipped with its own kitchen so that skilled team members can slice, chop, bake and toss natural, carefully chosen ingredients throughout the day. The company's motto, "Made Today Gone Today," captures its mission to ensure fresh, convenient food—fast. Any unsold food at the end of the day is donated to local charities working with the hungry.
SOURCE Pret A Manger