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Prêt A Manger. A Business Model Analysis

by E. Dimant (Author) M. Dysart (Author) K. Lanoix (Author) T. Leung (Author) S. Lindner (Author)

Project Report 2010 25 Pages

Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media

Excerpt

Table of Contents

1.0 Overview

2.0 Business Model
2.1 Segmentation
2.2 Screening and Corporate Social Responsibility
2.3 Growth Strategy

3.0 Canadian Market
3.1 Canadian Eating Habits
3.2 Canadian Competitors
3.3 Prêt’s Core Values in Canada

4.0 Options
4.1 Toronto, Ontario
4.2 Montréal, Québec
4.3 Vancouver, British Columbia

5.0 Recommendation
5.1 Assumptions
5.2 Final Recommendation

6.0 Implementation
6.1 Location
6.2 Recruitement
6.3 Marketing
6.4 Suppliers
6.5 Adaptation to Canadian market

7.0 Future Outlook

Appendix

Bibliography

1.0 Overview

A passion for food was the driving force for Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe, two college friends who were hungry for tasty and healthy sandwiches, when they opened the first Prêt a Manger in 1986. The company was founded in London, England on the basis of making proper sandwiches while avoiding obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives that were common for prepared food in the market at the time.1 This one of a kind restaurant blossomed, as it offered consumers a product that could not found anywhere else.2 Prêt a Manger has differentiated itself in three main categories: the menu, the level of customer service and the dedication to sustainability. A soup, sandwich or salad from Prêt a Manger is made with all natural ingredients. There are no artificial colours or no additives, just good taste. They get their supplies from local vendors and are always looking for new flavours in the area.3 Poor service cannot be found in a Prêt a Manger store. The staff are all exceptionally trained and treated for the best overall customer experience. Prêt a Manger’s sustainability goals, which are primarily to reduce their environmental impact, are updated regularly as they want to continuously decrease their environmental footprint. The food industry leaves a lot of room for waste, but not for Prêt a Manger. They donate all their unsold sandwiches, salads and baguettes to the homeless at the end of each day. Prêt a Manger is privately owned, and thus does not have the pressure to grow as quickly as a public company does.4 However, they are continuously growing. There are over 200 stores in the UK and Prêt a Manger has expanded to New York City, Chicago, Washington DC and Hong Kong. Prêt a Manger is synonymous with good taste.

2.0 Business Model

Prêt a Manger’s underlying value proposition is to serve great-tasting freshly made sandwiches with a business model that is dedicated to social responsibility. Prêt a Manger offers a wide selection of products with over 200 sandwiches, salads and soups of highest quality. Therefore, not only does the quality play an important role, but so does the commitment to a comprehensive service. A 2010 London survey, conducted among immigrants in the company, founds that Prêt a Manger was the most desirable place to work. Consequently, Prêt a Manger “won the 2010 award for best retail company in the UK. The company earned this award through a commitment to its people and to its fresh preservative free food.”5 While combining sophisticated service with high-quality food, the company tries to maintain their three core- merits throughout their value chain: “First and foremost, we are passionate about food and keeping it fresh and interesting. This is our core product and we work hard to produce the best we can […]. The second Prêt a Manger passion is their staff, all 2,200 of them spread across 116 stores (25 outside London) in the UK […]. The third and final part of Prêt a Manger’s sandwich success story is to be passionate and proud of the business and what they have achieved.”6

2.1 Segmentation

Unlike their direct competition (e.g. Subway), the company is aiming for a high-price- high-quality segment. “Its French name and comparatively adventurous menu all helped create an aura of exclusivity - instead of ham and tomato sandwiches, Prêt a Manger offered Brie, tomato and basil baguettes.”7 As this is especially the case for their main business in London “at £1.20 for a tiny bottle of orange juice, it is targeting urban professionals with little time on their hands.”8 The commitment to sophisticated service can also be experienced by the service speed. “Customers spend just 90 seconds from the time they get in line to the time they leave the shop.”9 Although Prêt a Manger never truly engaged in extensive market research, the mix of delightful and more expensive sandwiches with low-priced products, like their 99 cents coffee, reveals the company’s ambivalent business model, which applies to heterogeneous needs of their equally heterogeneous clientele. “We like to maximize the space we have in our shops and use this to help promote our food. We use large “gilt frames” which sit in our windows. These help spread the message of our seasonal product launches.”10 By that, Prêt a Manger was profiled as “an excellent example of an organization that creates a unique experience for a clearly targeted group of customers and delivers value everyday through its people and products. It has good processes and customer friendly policies. What Prêt a Manger does not do is advertise, but there is little need to do this because its customers promote the organization.”11 This clearly emphasizes the fact that the company is able to successfully adapt their business model to their customers’ needs. The great challenge for each company is to match their own perceptions and expectations about how to create sustainable value with the customer’s perceived value recognition. In the 2001 Forum Survey a great volatility in both, companies’ and customers’ value acknowledgment, was identified (Appendix A)12

There are often perception differences between customers and companies in the features and response to problems. To ensure a feasible convergence of both, the company established a close interaction with their consumers through communication channels, anticipating that 19 out of 20 unsatisfied customers would rather leave the store quietly than voice their complaint.13

“On average, 60 per cent of feedback received by the Prêt a Manger customer service department is either positive or neutral.”14 The emphasis on high-quality service is no coincidence. As discovered in a survey, “Customers who rate you a five on a scale from one (poor) to five (excellent) are six times more likely to buy from you again, compared to those who rate you a four on the same scale. The economic benefits of retaining repeat customers and building repeat business are compelling.”15 The people make the difference and retaining customers by satisfying their needs not only saves costs, as attracting new customers can generate three to ten times higher costs than holding old clientele, but it also impacts the company’s outward perception through customer’s loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing, intrinsically generated by the very same satisfied people.16

2.2 Screening and Corporate Social Responsibility

To maintain a high level of quality in their personnel, the company implemented an attentive screening procedure to screen their job applicants. “There is a rigorous assessment for each potential employee. We make them work in a shop for a few days, they have several interviews and, in each case, we try to get to know them as individuals.”17 As a result, the company has become very passionate about their staff and the types of individuals they hire. The company believes that they are an important part of the company’s culture and has always been eager to treat them exceedingly well. The company does not only incorporate their voice in business matters, but also pays them fair salary and wage for their hard to keep them continuously motivated.18

The company’s attitude to engage in corporate social responsibility is becoming apparent in how they treat their employees’ and in their solicitousness towards fresh food. All of their offered menu dishes are completely free from any preservatives and consist solely of natural ingredients. In addition, the daily-prepared sandwiches are not stored overnight, but are given away to charities if they are not sold that day.19

2.3 Growth Strategy

Prêt a Manger’s did not just start their business in London because both founders, Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe, graduated at the Polytechnic of Central London, but did so because they were driven by a growing resentment towards the regularly served “soggy sandwiches and mush for lunch, often served with a snarl, from local sandwich shops.”20 With having found this untapped market niche, they decided to step in and fill the gap with a business that was committed to serving high-quality food. Starting their business in Victoria, the company has successfully established over 200 stores worldwide to date.21 The company’s understanding of growth is research based and the company tries to incorporate as many business impacting variables as possible into their business model. “When positioning on a busy high street, we need to make sure we cater for the range and diversity of people who may enter one of our shops. We therefore have a large range of food products to suit different tastes.”22

With the intention of accomplishing oversees business growth, the company has become well aware that it is important to have an experienced backup-partner. “It is this transatlantic venture which has led to McDonald's involvement - the two founders realized that if they wanted to sell their concept in another country, they needed heavyweight backing.”23 This would allow the company to concentrate on their business while benefiting from McDonalds’ big expertise in overseas business adaptation.

Having the company’s core values and business perceptions in mind, this model proves to be successful on many levels. Through the combination of customer satisfaction, high-quality food and sustainable business growth, the company is becoming a global success. “The Prêt employment system works because at the end of the day their employees like working at Prêt and are rewarded for performing at, or above, Prêt a Manger’s expectations. The result: customers get great product and service and not only stay, but over time become fiercely loyal.”24

3.0 Canadian Market

Canada’s service sector has grown rapidly over the last few years, especially when compared to other sectors in the Canadian economy. The economy’s GDP, once dependent on agriculture and mining, is now generated by banks, consulting firms and health care assistance. Accommodation and food services are among those sub sectors with the highest growth rates.25

Prêt a Manger is currently doing business in three countries. To evaluate whether Prêt a Manger should enter the Canadian market, it should determine if the Canadian market shares similar characteristics with Prêt a Manger’s existing markets. Only if Prêt a Manger’s values coincide with societal or cultural factors in Canada, will the expansion to Canada be successful. In the following, Canadian eating and lifestyle habits will be examined.

3.1 Canadian Eating Habits

Prêt a Manger’s products are all take-away products. Although most restaurants have seating areas, their products are designed to be convenient to eat while on the run. Thus, Prêt a Manger primarily targets consumers who want to have a quick meal. A study on Canadian Food Trends showed that Canadians opted more often for convenient snacks throughout the day rather than having a traditional, time-consuming lunch. Portable food in general and sandwiches in particular, have gained popularity as they are a quick and reasonably-priced alternative to eating in restaurants.26

Families’ lifestyles have become busier as the participation of women in Canada’s workforce continues to rise. Ready-to-eat food options are used to cut down food preparation time.27 A survey among Canadians showed that the percentage of persons who consume something prepared in a fast-food outlet are highest among consumer aged 14 to 50 years of age, with the highest figure among men between 19 and 30 years.28

Attributable to government initiatives, public awareness for diet and related health issues in the Canadian society is continuously growing. Consumers are increasingly giving their attention to health issues which are linked to diet and lifestyle, such as diabetes, high cholesterol or cardiovascular diseases. Overall, nutritional concerns are more important to women. They tend to seek more information concerning nutritional value and make more selective food choices. The result of the new health consciousness Canadians, can be seen in the decline of fat consumption. The sales of soft drink and snack food are also experiencing a downward trend. However, certain circumstances are perceived to impede healthy eating. Lack of time, confusion regarding nutritional labels or scepticism of actual healthiness of food products are among the main obstacles for consumers’ healthy nutrition.29

Prêt a Manger strives to eliminate all these concerns and barriers. They offer a diversity of sandwiches that are ready-to-eat and healthy at the same time. In addition, a nutritional breakdown of each product is available, both online and in the shops.30

3.2 Canadian Competitors

Prêt a Manger’s competitors include those who sell fresh sandwiches and that offer a fast and easy meal. Prêt a Manger’s main competitors are Subway, Tim Hortons, Quizno’s Sandwiches, Mr. Sub, and certain fast-food chains that are adding more nutritious choices, like healthy sandwiches, to their menus.31 Prêt a Manger will not only need to compete with the well known restaurant but will also compete with smaller neighbourhood sandwich shops. As Prêt a Manger also offers complimentary products to their sandwiches, such as soups or salads, it could be concluded that any restaurant could be an indirect competitor. However, Prêt a Manger’s unique value proposition of high-quality freshly made products will help differentiate the company from their competitors in the Canadian market.

3.3 Prêt a Manger’s Core Values in Canada

Canadian consumers are becoming more conscious of safety and quality where food is concerned. Canadians continue to worry about animal diseases (avian influenza, BSE, etc.), try to avoid food additives and preservatives and pay attention to processing techniques. Organic foods are increasingly becoming more popular; the organic foods market is growing at an estimated rate of about 15 to 20 per cent per year. As more and more outlets offer organic food, it is becoming a mainstream product. Moreover, quality is often being equated with freshness, taste and naturalness.32 All these trends go with Prêt a Manger’s core values, which include shunning all food additives and purchasing regional foods whenever possible.33

Prêt a Manger is also committed to high animal welfare for its meat and dairy products. This will be appreciated by Canadian customers, as the ethical treatment of animals is likely to become a more topical issue in the Canadian media. Moreover, Canadians tend to pay more attention to the traceability of the country of origin when it comes to food products. This is for safety reasons (to reduce food contamination) as well as for social and economic reasons. Consumers might opt to avoid food from countries where environmental or labour standards are not met. On the other hand, fair-trade and local products might be supported.34 Prêt a Manger ensures that their ingredients come from local and sustainable sources wherever possible and provides extensive data on the countries of origin of all of their ingredients.35

4.0 Options

When determining the location of the new Prêt a Manger, it is important to conduct an analysis on Canadian cities to see which would fit the Prêt a Manger’s business model. According to their business model, it is important for the restaurant to be located in an area where they can access fresh local products in a well established agriculture market. In addition, consumers must also be willing to purchase a premium quality product at a premium price. Finally, the potential for growth within the area is a key factor in determining future stability of the restaurant. As a result, Prêt a Manger has targeted many metropolitan cities when entering a new country (ex. New York City in the U.S). Based on these aspects, it is believed that Prêt a Manger should consider three of Canada’s largest metropolitan cities: Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. All three cities have certain characteristics that would make them a good choice for Prêt a Manger to locate their restaurant. Toronto is usually seen as an economic power, while Vancouver has beautiful scenery and a high amount of tourism and Montreal is a culturally diverse city. An analysis on these three cities was conducted to determine whether they are a viable option for a new Prêt a Manger.

4.1 Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world.36 It has a population of 2.48 million people and a population of 5.5 million people in the Greater Toronto Area.37 From the 2006 Census, 28 per cent of ethnic origin responses in Toronto were from European descent, with 19 per cent coming from the British Isles (England, Scotland, and Ireland); 16 per cent were East or Southeast Asian; and 10 per cent were South Asian.38 In addition, 56.2 per cent of the population speaks English, while 1.4 per cent of the population speaks French.39

The Food and Beverage industry are one of the top ten industries in Toronto.40 The city is built on, and is next to some of Canada’s best agricultural land.41 It also has a high concentration of value-added food processors.42 This would provide Prêt a Manger with excellent access to fresh products needed to make their sandwiches and other goods. In addition, many Torontonians increasingly understand that food is connected with health, the environment, the economy and community.43 Consequently, there has been a growing interest in home cooking, farmers’ markets, specialty food stores, food entrepreneurship, volunteering with neighbourhood food projects, learning about nutrition, and supporting local farms and healthy and sustainable food.44 It has been found that food prices in Toronto food prices are slightly lower than Vancouver, but much higher than Montreal.45 In 2008, the average household in Toronto spent $8,132 on food.46 As Toronto is one of the major food cities in the world, there are over 4,000 food retail outlets and over 6,000 restaurants that represent more than 200 different food cultures.47 Furthermore, the Ontario government recently amended regulations to allow street vendors to sell a broader range of foods.48

In 2006, the average annual income of a Torontonian household was $80,343, for families $96,602, for non family persons $39,068.49 During the economic recession in 2009, Toronto’s total employment declined by 1.4 per cent.50 The number of full-time employees fell by 17,500 to 1,006,400 and the number of part-time employees fell by 600 to 284,800.51 However, the Canadian economy is beginning to recover from the recession and statistics show that consumer confidence in Ontario is on the rise.52 Furthermore, Toronto is beginning to implement a growth management strategy for its downtown core.53 This plan will involve a diverse mix of employment growth and residential growth, making Downtown Toronto a popular place to live, work, and do business.54

4.2 Montréal, Québec

Montreal is consistently rated as one of the world's most “liveable” cities, and was called "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine .55 Today, Montreal has a population of 1.6 million people.56 The city has one of the most culturally diverse populations in Canada where one out of three people are born outside the country.57 The most prominent cultures include Chinese, Italian and Haitian.58 There are also large clusters of people from European ethnicity, such as the French, British and Irish.59 According to the Charter of the French Language, the official labour language in Québec is French.60 This could present a challenge for a Prêt a Manger as the company will need consider how they may overcome the communication barrier if they were to open a Prêt a Manger in Montreal.

Montreal has some of the finest restaurants and bars in North America.61 However, Montreal food consumption trends showed that consumers were the least concerned with nutrition when compared to Canadians across Canada.62 This may present a problem for Prêt a Manger as their strategy is focused on providing healthy and nutritious food options. In addition, Statistics Canada found that the average household spent $7,568 on food in 2008, and this represented 17 per cent of total current consumption in the city of Montreal.63

“Montreal's economy is the second largest of all cities in Canada based on GDP.”64 The average income for a household in Montreal is $33,000 and 65 per cent of the population are active in the work-force.65 In addition, Montreal has a “world-class” agri-food industry including more than 45,000 employees.66

4.3 Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is the eighth largest city in Canada, and the third largest metropolitan area with a population of 2.1 million.67 It has a strong multicultural basis, with the percentage of citizens whose first language is English at 49.1 per cent and citizens whose first language is Chinese at 25.3 per cent.68 Furthermore, it is not surprising that Vancouver’s population continues to grow as it has repeatedly been named the most liveable city in the world.69 This assessment was based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Vancouver is currently enjoying one of the strongest economic expansions in years. The strength of Greater Vancouver has propelled the province to continue to outperform the national benchmark.70 Among other factors, the competitive business and tax climate make it an ideal place to open a new business.

[...]

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67 About Vancouver, City of Vancouver 2010 http://vancouver.ca/aboutvan.htm (29 November 2010).

68 Ibis.

69 “Vancouver remains top, Harrare remains bottom” Economist Intelligence Unit 2010 http://www.eiu.com/site info.asp?info name=The Global Liveability Reportpage=noadsrf=0 (29 November 2010).

70 Economic Profile, Vancouver Economic Development Comission, 2010,

Details

Pages
25
Year
2010
ISBN (eBook)
9783640816750
ISBN (Book)
9783640820269
File size
2.5 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v165865
Institution / College
Ottawa University
Grade
100%
Tags
Pret A Manger Sandwiches Business Model Pret

Authors

  • E. Dimant (Author)

    7 titles published

  • M. Dysart (Author)

  • K. Lanoix (Author)

  • T. Leung (Author)

  • S. Lindner (Author)

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Title: Prêt A Manger. A Business Model Analysis