I went into a Pret-A-Manger the other day and was eating a half a sandwich, when I noticed the napkin:


I thought this was really cool so I wanted to learn a little more about Pret.

The company started in 1986 in London, and came to the US in 2000. Now they have about 250 stores in various places around the world, but are still predominantly a UK company.  They pride themselves on using “natural” ingredients which use as little preservatives and chemicals as possible. Every day, when they close down, they take whatever food wasn’t sold and donate it to local charities. In NYC, they work with City Harvest , which feeds hungry people around the city.

This last point is really what I think sets Pret apart. There are lots of places – especially in major cities- that offer “natural” foods with no preservatives or colorings or chemicals, etc. But the fact that Pret donates it’s leftover everyday to charity, and starts again from scratch the following morning, is really awesome.

This act is probably not saving them any money. It’s probably costing them money, actually. But they are doing the community a service (and if you think about it – they are a foreign company – so it’s technically not even their community), and reducing a huge amount of material from the food waste stream. As an added bonus, customers of Pret are guaranteed freshly made food – not stuff that’s been sitting on the shelf for who-knows-how-many-days.

Gold star for Pret-A-Manger!!

Also, their food is quite tasty ;)

…And a cup of organic coffee is only $0.99 there (!)


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