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Corporate Culture: Pret A Manger

Pret beets & berries

So I haven't been granted any previews of The Elm or
The Butterfly. But I did get a peek (and almost typed sneak peak because it's been
seared [seered?] into my brain from repeated viewings) inside a Pret a Manger test
kitchen and an early look at their new summer salads launching on Monday. You
know I have a soft spot for international chains, plus I regularly eat at Pret

Pret salmon

I learned a few localization tidbits:

  • Americans want more salads. I don't think we're accustomed to the boxed
    sandwich thing that's so common in the UK.
  • We also want to add our own dressing and toss it together, hence the new
    plastic clamshell (recyclable) instead of the cardboard box of yore.
  • A new prosciutto sandwich is in the works. The British version is full of
    mayonnaise, naturally, while we may get brie on ours even though the Italian
    and French comingling seemed illogical. We don't care about culinary accuracy.

Pret quinoa

I like a substantial salad, which usually means a
meaty component, so I was most into the Italian Prosciutto & Quinoa (also
containing hard-boiled eggs, edamame, peas) and the Wild Salmon salad with a
tzatziki dressing (suggested dressings is also a new thing). The three other
salads feature falafel, beets and berries, and vegetables plus quinoa.

And yes, I bemoaned the loss of my old long-gone
favorite the Chicken Provencal No Bread Sandwich, which was really just a
smaller, less expensive salad. It's never coming back.

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  1. Lesley #

    Ah that prosciutto sandwich reminded me of the deli that used to be next door to mein Hoboken, Picininni’s. I would get prosciutto with their mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. The mozzarella they made in the back and the tomatoes too, a huge jar with garlic and fennel seeds. I know you are not big on Starbucks but their new Spicy Chicken with Black Bean salad is good, it has a chipotle dressing I wish I could find somewhere else because I would use it on all my salads. It has jicama too, I guess just for crunch as it doesn’t seem to have any flavor. Jicama seems to be a California thing, once in a while someone asks for it at Trader Joes where I work and they always are from the west coast. Customers also come in on the weekend and buy our clamshell packaged salads to last them throughout the work week, which seems wrong. I wouldn’t buy a salad unless I was going to eat it by the next day .

    June 21, 2013
  2. Lesley: I’ve never eaten a Starbucks salad. My brain just doesn’t associate them with food. I agree, buying premade salads for the week just seem weird.

    June 22, 2013

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