Debut store for South Mimms motorway service station

PUBLISHED: 10:39 21 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:34 21 September 2016

Pret chief executive r Clive Schlee (left) with Welcome Break chief executive Rod McKie

Pret chief executive r Clive Schlee (left) with Welcome Break chief executive Rod McKie

Archant

The hectic motorway service station on the fringe of Potters Bar has just become the first in its nationwide chain to open a Pret-A-Manger food store.

Rod McKie, chief executive of Welcome Break, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times initial customer feedback had been excellent, and Pret-A-Manger’s “fresh and healthy ethos” fitted well with his company’s image.

He said: “If it is successful, we will roll it out across the country.”

According to Mr McKie. South Mimms is the sixth or seventh busiest of its 29 service stations – the most visited one is Fleet on the M3 motorway in Hampshire.

Lying on the key A1(M)/M25 junction, South Mimms employs about 300 people, providing food, fuel, and accommodation to thousands of motorists every day across various franchised brands, including Starbucks, Harry Ramsden’s, Papa John’s, and KFC.

Mr McKie said business was growing between four and five per cent a year, and he anticipated stronger growth next year because the weaker pound would encourage holidays within the UK.

He said: “We have just had a very busy bank holiday weekend.

“We are still experiencing steady growth since Brexit [the referendum of June 23].

“We think people are being a bit more cautious, but they are still carrying on [leisure] visiting.

“We believe that next year the weak pound will be even more hopeful.

“People won’t have planned their holidays yet. Once people realise it is 20 per cent more to go abroad they may decide to stay at home.”

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