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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 28th Mar 2017 - Pret A Manger to open second veggie site, Wagamama makes Bulgaria debut
Pret A Manger to open second veggie site next week with expanded menu, in Shoreditch: Pret A Manger has revealed it is to open a second Veggie Pret that will have 20 new recipes on the menu. The company is opening the site in Shoreditch, east London, on Tuesday (4 April) having launched the concept in Soho last summer. In his blog, chief executive Clive Schlee said: “We opened our Veggie Pret pop-up as an experiment last year, never imagining it would be around for more than a month. We ended up making it permanent and I can now tell you that our second Veggie Pret will open at Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch on 4 April. A lot of Pret staff wanted their shops to go ‘veggie’, but Great Eastern Street got the call up based on the high levels of vegetarian sales in the area. You’ve been asking for more vegetarian and vegan options and our chefs have been experimenting with new ingredients and flavours to meet the challenge. We’ll open Great Eastern Street with 20 new recipes on the menu, including a vegan macaroni cheese, which has taken our team the best part of a year to perfect, and a vegan chocolate brownie. As ever, I encourage you to let us know what you like and what we’re getting wrong. We read every tweet and review and they help us decide which recipes you’d like to see in all our shops, and where we need to try harder.” Schlee also revealed its vegetable range in Hong Kong had helped the business enjoy three consecutive weeks of record sales while it would be launching a new vegetarian range in all its US stores next month. He said: “I recently visited our team in Hong Kong who launched their ‘Not Just For Veggies’ campaign to a very enthusiastic response from customers and media. We were also pleasantly surprised by the level of interest from the Buddhist community. It can be no coincidence that the launch of the campaign has helped our Hong Kong business to enjoy three consecutive weeks of record sales. It seems the movement for eating less meat continues to grow. The next stop for Pret will be the US, where we’ll be launching a new veggie range in all our US shops at the end of April. Our teams look forward to seeing you in our Soho and Shoreditch Veggie Prets and to reading your candid reviews of the new menu.”

Wagamama opens its first restaurant in Bulgaria: Wagamama has opened its first restaurant in Bulgaria. The new venue is in the centre of capital Sofia, featuring a mix of seating styles over two floors, with 140 covers inside and a further 40 seats in a private courtyard. As with other Wagamama sites, dining is at individual or communal tables. The restaurant is operated by Wagamama franchise partners Cinema Entertainment. Wagamama international managing director Brian Johnston said: “Our Sofia location is very special, the area is extremely vibrant and we are pleased to be in the centre of this amazing food hub. As people in Sofia are experience-seekers, we are quietly confident Wagamama will become a local favourite.” Cinema Entertainment general manager Ivo Milikin added: “Wagamama is a concept that seduced us from the beginning because of its strong brand identity, the quality and freshness of the food it serves and the passion with which its teams offer customers a different kind of experience.” The opening brings the total number of restaurants for the brand to 168 across 20 countries.

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