Pret a Manger

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Case Study : Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger, as said on their own website, provides ”Good tasting natural food, excellent service and convenience”. Sandwiches, salads, soups and other fast food we buy in one of their shops are exactly prepared in the kitchen of the shop. From this point , Pret has something in common with McDonald’s or KFC—their shops all have their own kitchens. However,I think, having a kitchen probably is the only similarity, Pret is quite different not only in the products and services but also in its organization and strategy.

Now let’s have look at this fast food retailer:

A. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Pret A Manger organizing itself so that the individual shops make the sandwiches that they sell?

ADVANTAGES

This arrangement brings many benefits to Pret A Manger.

Save the resources.
The individual shops make their own sandwiches for sale means the company don’t have to spent time and money on discussing issues such as “Which place shall we buy or rent to build the factory to prepare the sandwiches?” or “Who is to manage the factory?” or “How should the sandwiches be shipped to the shops?” or even “Science the construction of our factory has not been finished, is it possible that we have retail shops first?”. For the hole organization, kitchens with shops are much more economic than a big plant.

Simplify the transportation.
Compared with some supermarkets which also sell sandwiches, if a Pret shop has its food prepared and ready for sale, the only thing left is to carry them from the kitchen (right in the shop) and place them on the shelf for the customer to choose. No such things as containers, trucks, scheduling or so. By this, many mistakes and delays would be prevented.

Ensure of the supply of the food for sale.
We all have such experience: we went to a restaurant or a super market wishing to eat or buy something but when we got there, the stuff told we exactly what we wanted is sold out and it would available tomorrow or even later. As a consequence, we often turn to another shop. What a pity! But for Pret, provided they had the materials, they would be able to supply whatever the customer ordered.

Quality assurance or the products.
As food retailers, what they should pay special attention to is how to provide their products tasty, and more important, healthy, while massive production in factories demands much more to achieve that goal than the Pret pattern. On the other hand, the handmade products are often considered as a sign of high quality. That would be a perfect selling point.

DISADVANTAGES

However nothing can be flawless in the world, there are also some disadvantages.

Requires more labor.
From the website of the company, we can easily find these words: “We start early (6am is common).” It’s easy to understand. Each individual shop actually acts two roles, the manufacturer and the seller. To fulfill this requirement, the shops will have to ether employ more stuff or have their stuff works more harder, whichever choice will lead to more salary paid.

Increase the cost for each shop.
As is said above, the cost for the whole company is reduced, but for each shop, the expanse is increased for they have to purchase various equipments to prepare the food, pay more for bills of water and electricity and other running expanses.

limit the varieties of product
We all know that factories with different production lines are able to serve the customer with varieties of products. But for a Pret shop, because of the limit of the space, its kitchen may not be big enough to contain many equipments. That may be one of the reasons why Pret mainly provide fast food and also may explain why its product seemed not very local.

I should say, letting each individual shops make the products they sell is not a perfect choice, but is a ideal one. Though there are advantages, but the advantages have solved lots problems smartly and contribute much to...
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