You don’t need to invest in loyalty schemes – as long as you are doing a good enough job then your customers will keep returning, believes Pret A Manger and Itsu founder Julian Metcalfe.

Speaking at yesterday’s Lunch! Show, Metcalfe said: “I honestly think the best way of dealing with loyalty to customers is by doing the job properly and by serving them good food. Do what you do better than everybody else and you will be fine.”

He said that while Pret and Itsu don’t have loyalty schemes or apps, Pret’s 20-year initiative for staff to give away food to people they deem as deserving has worked well for them, and there were no plans to change the approach, explained Metcalfe.

He said that if you want loyal customers then you just have to look after them, and you can’t do that unless you look after the people that are serving them - “it’s very basic actually”.

On plans to grow the Itsu estate, Metcalfe said there was “no point getting depressed” about the current property market, and that he was confident things would turn themselves around.

He said his criteria for sites remained the same – “we just try to work with sensible landlords”. And while he could not be drawn on specific expansion plans, he said that “Itsu has barely begun”.

Metcalfe added that Itsu was seeing “enormous growth” with delivery, through Deliveroo and Uber Eats.