Back in 1986, the London fast food scene was rather depressing. Tired sandwiches and watery coffee was the most you could hope for if you wanted to pick up a quick lunch on the go. It was this sad state of affairs that prompted the founders of Pret a Manger to set up their first shop from a small outlet near Victoria station.
Today, Pret (as it is affectionately nicknamed), is considered to be the capital's fast food success story, offering freshly made food from natural ingredients and good quality organic coffee and tea for the London's busy workers and hungry tourists from outlets across the city.
Many copycat chains have followed and it's this competition that continues to force Pret to keep on its toes. Design plays an important part in this process.
Indeed, if you compare the average Pret shop from today with one of ten years ago, you'll see dramatic changes in terms of interior design, food packaging and even subtle changes in the logo. However, as with all successful brands, the core of Pret remains the same, succeeding in attracting new customers without alienating existing advocates.
Pret's creative director James Cannell told marketing website The Drum: "The logo has changed (a little). The shop design has changed. The packaging has changed. The messages have changed. Even the uniforms have changed. But Pret really hasn't. It still feels bold, it feels proud and it feels as 'Pret' today as it did yesterday."
Time for a coffee to celebrate.
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