Coffee and sandwich franchise Pret A Manger is to expand into Ireland for the first time with the establishment of 20 shops and the creation of about 500 jobs over the next decade.
As part of a deal with Carebrook Partnership, the shops will be established across the island of Ireland with the first shop set to open on Dawson Street in Dublin in the summer, creating 25 jobs.
Carebrook Partnership is one of Pret’s longest serving franchise partners, having worked with the business for 30 years, overseeing many shops in London, including Camden, Belsize Park and Finchley.
Gerard Loughran, the majority co-owner, grew up in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, and has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK and US food sector.
Minority co-owner Ray McNamara from Dublin has 25 years’ experience in the Irish food industry, including ownership of Ann’s Bakery.
The franchise agreement follows Pret’s announcement last year that it would aim to double the size of the business within five years, including launching into five new markets by the end of 2023.
As part of Pret’s expansion, it is rolling out a recruitment programme, aiming to hire at least 3,000 team members and baristas globally.
Earlier this year, Pret confirmed that it would invest over £9.2 million (€11 million) in staff pay, its biggest pay and benefits increase in its 36-year history.
Pano Christou, chief executive officer at Pret A Manger, said: “Setting up shop in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been our plan for a long time, and we’re thrilled that we’re finally able to make it happen.
“There has long been demand from our neighbours on the island of Ireland to bring Pret’s freshly prepared food and organic coffee, and now with the backing of Carebrook Partnership we’re able to do so. We look forward to making this partnership a success.”
Pret said it is planning to roll out full ingredient labelling to shops in both the Republic and Northern Ireland as part of its allergy plan. Full ingredient labels will be rolled out on all freshly made products to ensure that customers have the information they need.
Gerard Loughran, CEO of Carebrook Partnership, said: “We’ve been working with Pret for over three decades, ever since they arrived in London.
“Having grown up in Tipperary, and with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and food industry, I’ve always wanted to bring Pret to Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“I’m delighted that this will soon become a reality alongside my co-owner Ray, who has great connections and links to the food sector in Dublin with 25 years’ experience. We look forward to welcoming our new customers soon.”