Following its £60m acquisition of rival Eat, Pret a Manger has revealed it won't be sunsetting the brand entirely. Rather, it has taken to Instagram to ask its customer base to choose which item from the Eat menu will survive through 2020.
Having bought the business earlier this year, Pret revealed plans to turn "as many as possible" of Eat's 94 locations across the UK into Veggie Prets.
However, aware that fans of Eat will miss some of their favourites, Pret has decided to keep a smidgen of the menu alive. Using the hashtag #SaveYourFave, the high street sandwich chain is letting its customers choose from three bestselling Eat items. With the vote taking place on Pret's Instagram page, users can choose between Chicken Pot Pie, the Firecracker Chicken Toasted Flatbread and the Humous and Falafel Mezze Salad.
Eat and Pret a Manger will then work closely on the final recipe, with the product becoming available in Pret shops in early 2020.
“We know Eat customers will miss the food that they’ve enjoyed over the years, so we want to offer one of their favourite products on Pret’s menu," said Guy Meakin, UK food and coffee director at Pret.
"Once customers have voted for their winner, our Food Team will work closely with Eat on the finished result and we are looking forward to sharing it with customers in 2020," he added.
Pret a Manger currently owns 400 shops and four Veggie Prets across the UK. Back in May, it announced its acquisition of loss-making Eat, and its 90-strong stores, with the intention of turning 30 of its rival chain shops into veggie-only Pret's.
At the time, its chief exec Clive Schelee said the acquisition of Eat's estate was "a wonderful opportunity to turbocharge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it."
Now, 13 Eat shops that were destined to become Veggie Pret's, and three additional outlets have been put up for sale - according to MCA.
Pret a Manger confirmed that the process of changing the shops has started, but it won't be completed till later in 2020. There will, therefore, still be Eat stores open until then.
"We’re currently working through the estate and looking at what to do with each one. The aim is to convert as many as possible into Veggie Pret's," they added.