CEO Pano Christou says Pret’s debut on the African continent marks a major milestone in the chain’s international expansion strategy, with a store in Johannesburg set to open this quarter
Millat Group CEO Hamza Farooqui (left) and Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou (right) | Photo credit: Millat Group
Pret A Manger has signed a ‘landmark development agreement’ with private equity firm Millat Group to open stores across South Africa.
In a press release Millat Group said the first Pret A Manger outlet will open in Johannesburg this quarter before expanding to Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria ‘over the coming months’.
“Bringing Pret’s freshly made food and organic coffee to the African continent for the first time marks a major milestone in our international expansion. Partnering with the Millat Group to launch Pret in South Africa is hugely exciting, with our Johannesburg shop set to be the first of many in the South African market,” said Pano Christou, CEO, Pret A Manger.
The deal marks Pret A Manger’s first foray on the African continent and follows its South Asia debut with a store in Mumbai, India, in April 2023.
Founded in London in 1986, Pret A Manger now operates nearly 700 outlets across 17 markets globally.
Johannesburg-based Millat Group also holds the exclusive license to operate US convenience brand Circle K in South Africa as well as Hyatt House hotels in Cape Town and Johannesburg through a partnership with Chicago-based global hotel company Hyatt. Additionally, the private equity firm operates the dark kitchen restaurant brands Dhaba and Gimba in Johannesburg.
“This partnership is in line with Millat’s strategy of bringing global brands into South Africa. Pret’s decision to venture into South Africa is a reflection of the country’s vibrant economic potential,” said Hamza Farooqui, CEO, Millat Group.
Pret A Manger’s South Africa debut comes six months after London-based boutique café brand EL&N opened its first outlet in South Africa at the Mall of Africa.