Pret À Manger Launches Pop-Up, Social Media Effort In ‘Not Just For Veggies’ Campaign

The brand is relying on its established 'non-traditional' marketing strategy to bring in customers — and get their feedback.

Building on the success of its standalone Veggie Pret venture, Pret À Manger is introducing 20 new vegetarian and vegan recipes as part of its “Not Just For Veggies” campaign — and the U.K.-based brand is relying on its non-traditional marketing mix to promote the launch and drive foot traffic to its locations.

First, the company will host a pop-up event in New York City this Saturday, serving guests at 400 Park Ave at 12:30pm. The event will give the first 200 attendees a “sneak peek of all of the new menu items launching,” offering a free lunch consisting of a sandwich or salad, a drink, and a side. The idea is that hosting a pop-up event tied to a physical space — in one of Pret’s major markets, no less — will get fans to both try out the new menu items in an organized setting and talk about it to their friends on social media.

And there is a social media element to the campaign, a signature of Pret’s marketing efforts; its campaigns are creatively led in-house and based primarily around communicating directly with customers. Those who try out the new menu at the pop-up — or who check it out in Pret restaurants beginning on April 25th — will have the opportunity to provide their feedback and suggestions on social with the hashtag #notjustforveggies.

For now, the campaign is about promoting the new menu items. But pop-ups are a reliable testing ground for new store and restaurant concepts — and the approach that Pret is taking here appears the same as the “crowd-source, innovate, launch” approach to which CFO Adam Jones credited Veggie Pret’s London success in a conversation with GeoMarketing last month.

Olly Smith, VP Food at Pret À Manger, echoed these sentiments in talking about the Not Just For Veggies campaign — so the odds of New York getting its own Veggie Pret shop appear quite high.

“Feedback on the recipes is incredibly important to us and will help influence what stays on our menu and what doesn’t,” Smith said in a statement. “Thanks to customer feedback in the UK, we kept our veggie pop up open permanently, and we’ve just opened our second Veggie Pret shop in London… so who knows what could happen here in the US!”

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.