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Pret a Manger Making Tons of Money Off Porridge

British chain Pret A Manger is making a killing off porridge: the sandwich restaurant is selling 50,000 bowls of it from its stores each week. Each bowl weighs 300 grams, which means they're selling 15,000 kilos or just over 33,000 pounds of the stuff weekly.

They credit the recession with the boost in sales, and have seen their sales jump by 17% in 2010, and now each of their 4,000 staffers are receiving a £2,000 (US$3,196) bonus. That is a hell of a lot of porridge. Here's the press release:

Flourishing Pret A Manger to create over 700 new jobs
in 30 new shops worldwide

· Full-year results show 17% increase in sales to £327million
· Worldwide like-for-like sales growth of 9.8%
· EBITDA up by 37% to £46.1million
· Successful opening in Chicago
· Pret Porridge the biggest selling new product

Pret A Manger, Britain’s leading sandwich chain, today announces full-year results showing strong growth during 2010.

The unaudited results for the year to 30 December 2010 show:

to 30 December 2010 to 31 December 2009 % change
Turnover £327.5 million £279.2 million 17%
EBITDA £ 46.1 million £33.6 million 37%
Number of shops 262 232 13%
Like for like growth 9.8% 2.6% -

During 2010, Pret opened 33 new shops: 24 in the UK, 7 in the USA and 2 in Hong Kong. Pret opened its first shop in Chicago with sales over $40,000 a week.

Pret expanded its hot food range with the launch of Pret Toasties and Pret’s Proper Porridge. Introduced in the spring of 2010, Pret’s Porridge adds a hot, healthy and affordable choice into the Pret breakfast range. Pret is now selling over 50,000 bowls of Porridge a week.

Clive Schlee, Chief Executive of Pret A Manger, commented:

“The way we make our food, and the genuine way we serve our customers, continue to help Pret grow. Customers like the fact that Pret’s food is made on the premises and they are enjoying our new products, especially the hot ones.

Pret remains one of the few chains in the UK to provide calorie and saturated fat information on the shelves – this doesn’t have a material effect on sales patterns but our customers definitely like getting the information.

Our work with the homeless is increasingly important to Pret. Pret distributed 2.4 million sandwiches and salads to homeless charities last year. We also expanded our Apprenticeship Scheme to help young homeless people back into work.


We are still seeing good momentum globally in our business in the early part of the new financial year and we intend to create over 700 new jobs in over 30 new shops around the world this year. 500 of these new roles are expected to be in the UK.

· Pret A Manger Boosted by Sales of 50,000 Porridge Pots a Week [Guardian]
· All Pret a Manger Coverage on Eater [-E-]
[Photo: Glenn Copus]