This Beloved Chain Just Shut Down All of Its Boston and Chicago Locations
When commuters in Boston and Chicago eventually return to their daily office-going routines, they'll notice a beloved lunch option has disappeared from their city. Pret a Manger, the fast casual chain catering to professionals on their lunch break, has just announced they're shutting down all locations in the two cities.
The move is meant to stabilize the U.K.-based company whose U.S. sales have been down by 87%. The total number of shuttered locations adds up to 17 across both cities, with only a single location remaining on University of Chicago's campus.
"It was our intention to do everything we could to save jobs," CEO Pano Christou said in a statement. "It's a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I'm devastated that we will be losing team members. But we must make these changes to adapt to the new retail environment."
In 2019, Pret a Manger was operating 95 restaurants, while only 51 have reopened since the initial closures during the pandemic.
Relying mostly on commuter foot traffic, the company is now looking to shift gears and add new ways to reach customers. The chain has recently onboarded third-party delivery partners Seamless and GrubHub, and are launching the order ahead capability soon, according to Restaurant Business. You may also find Pret-branded coffee products in grocery stores in the near future. "We cannot defy gravity and continue with the business model we had before the pandemic," Christou said of the changes.
Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.