Is Pret A Manger a Franchise?

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pret a manger franchise

Pret A Manger is one of the UK’s leading high street retailers and an always-popular lunchtime option for those who value fresh, high-quality produce and appreciate a business with a conscience. This has made it an exciting business venture that many would like to invest in. With this in mind, we decided to establish whether Pret A Manger is a franchise or whether it’s achieved its staggering success by other means.

Who is Pret A Manger?

Pret A Manger was established in 1983 and opened its first store in Hampstead, London in 1984. At the time, it specialised in fresh foods and natural ingredients – an ethos that has continued into the present day. However, the original Pret A Manger struggled financially and was soon put into liquidation, where the name and branding were purchased by two young businessmen, Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe.

‘Pret A Manger’ translates as ‘ready-to-eat’ and this name has informed everything that the modern incarnation of the store set out to achieve. Initially focusing solely on the London market, Pret A Manger opened its first store outside of the capital in 2000. The store was located on Broad Street, New York and marked the beginning of a concerted effort to grow across several key markets.

The first French store was launched in 2012, and other locations have been developed in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, Denmark, China and Germany. Though the company has focused on achieving slow but stable growth, it is now considered a truly global brand and boasts a presence in many of the world’s biggest economies.

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Is Pret A Manger a franchise?

Pret A Manger has recently started to offer franchise opportunities in the UK. If you head to the franchise enquiry section of the website, you can learn more about how you can franchise or license a Pret A Manger in a certain market.

In order to be considered, interested applicants need to have experience in the food and beverage (F&B) industry. Specifically, this should be experience managing a mid to large sized F&B concept with a turnover exceeding £10 million.

It is also a requirement to have sufficient access to capital and a net worth of at least £7 million with access to liquid assets of £3.5 million.

Pret A Manger emphasises the importance of completing the application form. Due to the large amount of enquires it receives, it is unable to respond to incomplete applications.


Pret A Manger Franchise UK

Pret A Manger boasts more than 530 stores spread over nine countries. Approximately 350 of these are UK-based. The London market is responsible for around 67 percent of the company's trade, and it is also where the brand first made its mark.

In the capital city, Pret A Manger is often considered a healthier, quirkier and more ethical alternative to other ‘coffee and sandwich’ quick service restaurants, such as Starbucks.

The business has worked hard to foster this perception, establishing a relatively strict recruitment process that focuses heavily on how employees project positivity and communicate their ‘presence’. In many locations, all of the sandwiches that are not sold are given to local homeless people at the end of the day.

Pret A Manger Franchise Cost

There currently isn’t any information on the Pret A Manger website regarding the franchise cost, other than what your net worth needs to be.

However, there are some figures available that detail the cost of outfitting a Pret A Manger store and preparing it for business. A rough estimate puts the cost of opening each new store at approximately £400,000. Pret A Manger has also previously stated that it needs to raise around £1.5 million to finance the opening of three new stores.

On outfitting alone, this would put Pret A Manger up there with some of the more expensive quick-service franchises on the market. For instance, a Subway franchise costs roughly £200,000.

Pret A Manger in the US

In the US, the business signed a franchise agreement that saw two stores open on university campuses. The first was situated at the University of Pennsylvania, while the other opened at the University of Chicago. The fresh food and healthy ethos is ideally suited to US university campuses. Students can enjoy a large range of tasty, nutritious snacks and meals on the way to a lecture.

Alternatives to Pret A Manger

Similar Opportunities

Take a look below at some of our best franchise opportunities in the F&B industry.

Auntie Anne’s

This food franchise is the biggest soft pretzel chain in the world. Each day the chain serves fresh, hand-rolled pretzels that are enjoyed by thousands of customers up and down the UK. Although this is its primary offering, it also serves pizzas, pretzel dogs, slushies, breakfast buns and more.

Auntie Anne’s will help franchisees through the whole process; a comprehensive training programme will equip you with all the necessary skills and knowledge. This includes honing your baking skills, getting to grips with the proven business model and making sure you’re confident with operational processes.

In order to invest in this franchise opportunity, you will need to make a minimum investment of £50,000 and a total investment of £135,000. Franchise fees are £18,000.

Esquires Coffee

Esquires Coffee was founded in 1993 in Canada. In 2000, the brand arrived in the UK and, since then, 50 shops have opened.

It is one of the fastest growing coffee franchises and it truly cares about its process being ethical. Therefore, every cup of Esquires’ aromatic coffee is carefully crafted, fair trade and organic. Also, its plastics are recyclable, and the lids and cups are compostable.

The sustainable brand is looking for regional development partners to further its UK presence, particularly in south-west England, north-west England and the Midlands. It is important that interested applicants share the company’s ethos and are keen to have a meaningful role in society. They should also be business-focused and passionate about the success and growth of the brand.

Franchisees can look forward to assistance with finding and designing the perfect location, full training, marketing support and much more.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, Esquires requires a minimum investment of £85,000 and a total investment of £225,000. The franchise fee of £19,500 is included in the initial investment.


Cinnabon is known across the globe for its tempting, oven-hot cinnamon rolls topped with a heavenly cream cheese frosting. Customers can watch in awe as their food is baked in front of them and served straight from the oven.

Savvy entrepreneurs with managerial experience as an owner or operator in the F&B industry are encouraged to apply. It is also crucial to have expertise in the local area and how to market the brand to potential customers.

Cinnabon will be committed to helping your business thrive from the get-go and throughout your franchising journey. This is realised through ongoing visits, inspections, help creating an innovative marketing plan, support with lease negotiation and more.

If you fit Cinnabon’s requirements and want to be part of a globally recognised brand, you will need to make an initial investment of £23,000 and a total investment of £139,200.

Bagel Corner

Bagel Corner takes the quick-service restaurant (QSR) sector in a slightly different direction and centres its offering around healthy and wholesome bagels. With a unique digital ordering system that allows for quick order and pick-up, it’s one of the most innovative franchises around. Setting up a Bagel Corner franchise will cost you approximately £500,000.

Wrap It Up!

Another alternative to Pret A Manger is Wrap It Up!, a trendy QSR franchise that offers an incredible array of world foods all contained within a hearty and wholesome wrap. The franchise benefits from a lively and eye-catching aesthetic and appeals to a younger clientele who are interested in more exotic world dishes. The total investment required to start a franchise unit is set at around £120,000.

Wrap it Up! isn’t currently looking to expand its franchise network through our platform, but keep checking back and head to its website to get the latest franchising information.


Quiznos offers an excellent franchise package at a relatively low price and is quickly becoming a popular franchise among those looking to launch a sandwich-based business. Costing around £200,000, each Quiznos franchise receives ample support throughout the early stages of the business launch, and all franchisees are enrolled on one of the most comprehensive training programmes in the industry.

Unfortunately, Quiznos isn’t franchising with us anymore, but head to its website today to find out more and keep updated on the latest opportunities.

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