Pret a Manger’s New Delivery Menu Dinner Includes Fake Katsu Curry
Former commuter darling, Pret a Manger, is promoting the idea that people who have used sandwiches and snack bars to build a personality for a functioning lunch want to eat their food for dinner. The newest menu for dinner delivery – a refinement from November 2020 – continues with the focaccia pizzas, while a ‘chicken katsu curry’ is added with pulled chicken, no panko or chicken chop in sight. The fast-casual tradition of playing it fast and casual with food from all over the world: It’s alive, folks.
These focaccia pizzas head towards the London fast food pizza corridor and then stumble over with a topping of chipotle chicken and feta cheese. The chain describes Katsu curry as “notorious”. More conventional uses of ham and mozzarella follow, with the option of forming “set menus” as some sort of gesture to be in a restaurant, the kind of restaurant Pret is not. This menu will be launched in 13 stores, including ten in London, before it is launched.
The random free coffee supplier had a major pandemic. Almost entirely dependent on the commuter economy, it has shed thousands of jobs and closed dozens of stores as its model of treating flat whites like railroad season tickets and relying on the homogeneity of convenience has collapsed. Despite a brief hint of a revival during the Summer Death Ride “Back to Office”, many of the other central London restaurants fearing the effects of the downturn in the office have more appeal than maroon bags and a deservedly hyped sandwich.
And desperate times have seen desperate action indeed. A five coffees a day subscription for £ 20 / month that can be used to purchase a 99-P filter with 155 drinks per month. Bags of retail coffee were introduced to Waitrose with a visual campaign that focused on quasi-pastoral slow filter brewing; everything that Pret is not. While the coffee subscription made sense, especially at a time when people were able to suggest pret ice cream trucks, retail coffee beans and this new dinner service continue to make less sense. It could be just what it takes to temporarily survive now if it continues to take home maroon-monogrammed napkins and cheerfully copied coffee blends, especially if the vaccine rollout continues briskly.
But there is something grim about Dinners by Pret: a kind of resignation that the daily grind, which this pandemic has proven to be at least reformable, at most irredeemable, will actually only transform endlessly and from which one can never escape. Now it’s focaccia pizza; By summer it will be wraps and love bars again. Can’t we just hope for something better?