Pret a Manger, French for “ready to eat,” defines this grab-and-go concept, which offers an array of sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast items in an automat-like setting. Each unit is outfitted with pressed aluminum floors and stainless-steel display cases, creating a clean, modern look. The food is made fresh daily and is preservative- and additive-free. Menu items include an organic egg salad sandwich with baby spinach and aged Parmesan cheese as well as an all-natural turkey club sandwich. Pret originated in the U.K., and U.S. outlets preserve the chain’s roots by hiring some European staff members. Even Pret’s baguettes are imported from a small town in France. The chain is set to open an outlet in Chicago this August but has no plans to franchise. McDonald’s sold its stake in Pret in 2008
to private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital.

LocationNew York, N.Y.
2009 Systemwide Sales$29,000,000*
% Change in Sales31.8%
2009 U.S. Units24
% Change in Units26.3%
2009 Average Unit Volume$1,400,000*
% Change in AUV0.0%
Future 50 Year2010