Pret A Manger is to open its first site in Germany later this year as it seeks to ramp up its international presence, MCA understands.

The opening is set to form part of Pret’s partnership with HMSHost, which has already supported openings in Denmark and the Netherlands.

The group is also in talks to open further sites in the Middle East and plans to grow the brand in North America as well as pushing into Canada.

Pret A Manger chief executive Clive Schlee told MCA that he remained mindful of the company’s over-expansion internationally in the early noughties, and stressed that any growth would be measured.

He said: “A bigger Pret is not necessarily a better one but there is room all over the world for our concept.

“We will be using partners much more because of the complexities of understanding local tastes and the difficulty of getting into protected spaces like airports and railway stations.

In its home market, Schlee also sees vast swathes of opportunity for a brand whose recognition belies that actual size of the domestic estate (c350 stores). He cited as an example the fact that the company operates just three stores in his home county of East Anglia.

Last week, MCA revealed that the company is planning further expansion of its Veggie Pret model, which Schlee sees “connecting” the wider estate, and making up every 10th to 20th opening.

An in-depth interview with Schlee will feature in the April print edition of MCA.