Pret A Manger has announced plans to roll out its Pret Express format to more than 50 locations across the UK by the end of the year.

In April, Pret launched the self-service coffee station format at three locations in Glasgow and Essex in partnership with pure-play coffee and tea company JDE Peet’s, amid plans to double the size of its business in the next five years.

It currently operates Pret Express at c40 locations, with the aim of opening 50 more in places without sufficient space for traditional Pret outlets.

The format is aimed to reduce Pret’s reliance on its city centre portfolio, which is particularly concentrated in areas of central London where footfall has dropped significantly post-pandemic. Over the summer, Pret saw sales down 26% in its City sites in the week to 23 June due to rail strikes, with sales at 62% of pre-Covid levels.

Pret Express is designed as a smart, self-service coffee-to-go solution for convenience stores, forecourts, universities, healthcare facilities, and workplaces. It serves up to 21 drink recipes.

Pret launches its Christmas menu today. It features the return of its Christmas Lunch Sandwich, alongside new products such as Hog Roast Macaroni Cheese, Boxing Day Toastie and a vegan Beet Wellington Baguette.

Three new seasonal drinks will join Pret’s hot drink menu: Gingerbread Latte, Praline Latte and Macaroon Hot Chocolate, which will also be available to those with a Pret Coffee Subscription. New sweet treats include a chocolate orange mini loaf.

“Christmas is a very exciting time for us as we look to develop new and exciting products, we know our customers will love. We spend months researching trends, flavour profiles and working with our suppliers to get the best and freshest ingredients to help give Pret the Christmas food edge,” Katherine Bagshawe, UK food & coffee director at Pret said.

“We’re excited to bring even more extra special recipes to Pret fans this Christmas - our menu is more generous and more festive than ever before with something for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. It wouldn’t be Christmas without our famous Christmas Lunch Sandwich and some innovative new products”