Pret A Manger, French for “ready to eat,” defines this grab-and-go concept, offering an array of sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast items in an automat-like setting. The look is clean and modern with stainless-steel display cases holding food that is designed to be eaten on the move. The food is made fresh daily in each location and is preservative- and additive-free. Menu items include Niman Ranch ham and sharp New York cheddar sandwich, spicy shrimp and cilantro wrap and a Murray’s chicken and smoked mozzarella baguette. Pret originated in the U.K. 25 years ago, and its 35-plus U.S. outlets focus on staff promotion from within. All unsold food is donated to local charities at the end of the day. The chain has no plans to franchise. McDonald’s sold its minority stake in Pret in 2008 to private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital.

LocationNew York, N.Y.
2010 Systemwide Sales$35,750,000*
% Change in Sales23.3%
2010 U.S. Units31
% Change in Units29.2%
2010 Average Unit Volume$1,300,000*
% Change in AUV-3.7%
Future 50 Year2011