Ready to eat? The statement, not the question is the translation of Pret A Manger, the popular UK-based grab-and-go chain that is giving things a go in Canada.
This spring, A&W announced it had signed an agreement granting the restaurant chain with master franchisor rights in Canada.
The plan was to try the concept out as a store-within-a-store model in Vancouver.
The first one has debuted and is located inside the A&W at Marine Gateway, by the Marine Drive Canada Line Station, in South Vancouver off Cambie Street.
Inside the existing A&W - which is still serving up Teen Burgers, onion rings, and root beer - customers will see hot, cold, and room-temp display cases featuring Pret food items like salads, sandwiches, mac and cheese, wraps, pastries, bagged coffee beans, and fresh fruit.
Specific items available at Pret inside A&W in Vancouver include baguette sandwiches such as tuna and ham and cheese in full and "mini" sizes, salads with chicken and avocado, falafel wraps, and cookies and croissants. Hot selections include oatmeal, a Chicken Parm wrap, and soups, like lentil. Customers can order Pret A Manger coffee from the counter.
All the transactions for both Pret and A&W are handled at the front counter at the same tills.
"Pret operates a bit like a restaurant. We build a kitchen in (or very near) every shop. You won’t find ‘sell by’ dates on our fresh sandwiches and salads," explains Pret on its main website. Sandwiches at the Vancouver Pret indicate a "Packaged on" date, however.
A&W says it is introducing Pret's freshly made food and organic coffee as part of a two-year pilot where it will open the Pret brand within A&W restaurants in select Canadian markets.
If the trial phase is successful, A&W Food Services will have the exclusive right to expand the Pret brand across Canada based on an agreed upon development schedule.
The Pret brand opened in London in 1986 and operates more than 550 shops in the U.K., U.S. and several other countries.
Watch: We checked out Pret A Manger in Vancouver. Here's what we found:
@vancouverisawesome Ready to eat? #forkingawesome #vancouverbc #pretamanger #fastfood ♬ First Class - Jack Harlow
With files from the Canadian Press