The Coffee and sandwich chain Pret A  Manger is to trial self-service coffee machines, further evolving its business model after sales were hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pret has suffered as many of its just under 400 UK stores are located on high streets, at transport hubs and close to offices that have seen reduced occupancy during the crisis.

Pret said its “Pret Express” machines will be introduced into convenience shops, petrol station forecourts, universities, healthcare facilities and workplaces.

The machines offer the same coffees and teas available in Pret shops.

JDE Peet’s, one of the world’s largest consumer coffee companies, will be providing the self-service technology.

“This is new territory for Pret, which will allow more people across the country to enjoy Pret’s organic coffee and tea on the go, in places where there isn’t the right space to set up a new Pret shop,” said Guy Meakin, Pret’s UK trading director.

Last month the Company announced plans to double the size of its business within the next five years, backed by a new £100 million net investment to grow from JAB and Pret founder Sinclair Beecham.

The plans, which include expanding into new international markets, growing its shop estate and investing in new digital capabilities, are the next phase of Pret’s transformation plan – a plan which shifts the business from “following the skyscraper”, to bringing Pret to more people across the UK and beyond.


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