Pret A Manger chief executive Clive Schlee, has suggested opening a store selling only vegetarian fare.

In a blog on the Pret website, Schlee posed three options on how the company could improve its vegetarian offer, including a meat-free outlet.

He said: “I regularly look at Pret’s sales mix to see which food categories are growing and which are shrinking. Recently, there has been a distinct shift towards vegetarian. The top selling SuperBowl in our latest salad launch was Beets, Squash & Feta, beating chicken, salmon and crayfish alternatives. This would have been unheard of five years ago.”

Schlee said he wanted Pret to help people to enjoy more vegetarian food “without being preachy, or worse still, alienating our customers”.

He said: “One idea is to open a vegetarian Pret A Manger shop. It would offer the usual Pret menu but replace sandwiches and salads containing meat and fish with a delicious range of vegetarian items. These dishes would have to be good because in the food business, it is always taste that wins the day. Put simply, vegetarian food has to be delicious if it is to gain more traction.

“The danger of doing this is that we take choice away and upset loyal customers and, of course, we love our current range. The reason to do it is to act as a beacon for more innovation at Pret for the future, which offers greater choice. It would encourage Pret to create tastier vegetarian food and tempt customers who are inclined to try new alternatives.

“This idea is still in its infancy. There are some within Pret who believe we should be more cautious and simply put in a dedicated fridge full of vegetarian food. Other colleagues are excited by the symbol and the challenge.”

Schlee has asked customers to vote on three options for increasing the vegetarian range at Pret.