Business Studies: Visit from Pret-a-Manger Head Office

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A representative from Pret A Manger, who works at the company's Head Office, visited Bede's recently to speak to A Level students about the global brand's business model, charity wing and numerous successes.

The visit from Mrs Wright, who has been working at Pret-a-Manger for a number of years, saw 20 students enjoying her presentation and extended Q & A session.

"This experience was very useful to the students so close to their A2 exams, during which they will be assessed on Unit 4, where they can use any business of their choosing as a case study," explained Fergus McKeefry, Head of A Level Business.

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"A major benefit of this Unit is that it encourages students to research independently and focus on businesses that are of particular interest to them."

 "It was really interesting to learn about how the Pret Head Office functions within such a prominent organisation," said Sixth Form student Jessica Sparkes.

"Because Pret's profits have risen so dramatically in recent years," Jessica continued, "many of us were under the misconception that Pret was a profit-led business. In fact, Mrs Wright outlined many ways in which they consider themselves to be a social enterprise which puts an emphasis on customer service and environmental concerns."

One particular area of the presentation which caught the imagination of the students was Pret's charity wing, which donates all of its excess food to local hungry and homeless people at the end of the day.

"Because Pret does not publicize this aspect of their operation it was interesting to consider that the company was taking this action because it wanted to, not for corporate gain," said Jessica.

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Other interesting titbits from Mrs Wright's presentation included Pret's practise of running 'buddy days' twice a year, which see staff from Head Office partnered with those who work on shop floors around the country. This, according to Jessica, helps to keep the company's culture intact, aids communication across the business and empowers employees, making them feel like part of a larger whole.

"If we needed more excuses to appreciate Mrs Wright's visit," adds Jessica, "she also brought us in some food, which was gratefully received by all! More than anything though, this event, combined with the recent Asos trip, has really helped prepare us for the imminent exam. Business Studies can be seen as quite a theoretical subject, and these occasions really help bring the subject to life."

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