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Pret a Manger is opening in new places, including Hudson Yards in New York City.

Pret a Manger is making a comeback in joint venture with Dallas International franchisee

Pret a Manger U.S. president Jorrie Bruffett spoke about the company’s expansion goals of reaching 300 U.S. stores by 2028

London-based sandwich and café chain Pret a Manger is making a comeback in its U.S. division with the announcement of a joint venture between the sandwich chain and current franchisee Dallas International. Under the new agreement, Dallas International will assume control of 50 out of the 66+ stores in the U.S., located in the New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. markets and exclusive rights to open new shops in these cities. With the help of Dallas International, Pret a Manger hopes to nearly quintuple its U.S. portfolio to 300 stores by 2028.

This comeback would be a major turnaround for Pret a Manger, which saw many restaurant closures during the peak years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2021 and 2022, Pret a Manger U.S. closed 30% of its portfolio and saw a 21% reduction in sales, as store count dwindled from 80 to 56, according to the NRN Top 500, in partnership with Datassential. But the company has been focused on expanding beyond even 2019 levels.

“I don’t know if I would describe it as a comeback so much as a second coming,” Pret a Manger U.S. president Jorrie Bruffett said. “I think we're better than we were before: we’re stronger with better foundations…. We really used COVID to pull back a little bit so that we could have this springboard towards growth. We’re super excited about the future.”

For starters, Pret a Manger has been reopening stores that were closed during the pandemic, including the reopening of its Chicago location this week. Under Dallas International, the brand will also be opening its first Los Angeles stores outside of the airport, and will be building out in suburban areas as well, with a focus on transportation hubs and places where businesses and students congregate.  

Beyond goals of geographic expansion, Pret a Manger is focused on digital interaction with its customers. Similar to its competitor, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger launched a coffee subscription program in 2020 before expanding the program geographically and to other sections of the menu—coming to the U.S. last month. Unlike Panera’s successful Sip Club Program, Pret a Manger’s loyalty program is not limited to beverages, as subscribers can enjoy 20% off the entire menu—food and beverages included. The program, Bruffett said, is meant to drive customer engagement and return visits.

“In the long term, we see ourselves being 2-3,000-locations and having a strong presence across the country,” she said. “I really think there's unlimited potential since soup, salads, sandwiches, and coffee appeals to everyone. I don't think there's really any limit there as far as appeal for fresh, great food and organic coffee.”

Contact Joanna at [email protected]


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