I know I blogged about number two first…don’t judge me. It’s taken me a while to get around to this one. On Sept 24th, my professor gave the class an assignment. Go to Town Center and observe customers in their natural habitat, shopping centers. She broke the group into smaller groups and sent us our ways to different places. My crew and I were sent to a small cafe called Pret A Manger in Kingston. (We just call it Pret here). I didn’t think to take pictures of the place, but you can check them out here.
The exercise was based on the User Theory model. We had to go place of business and see how the owners go about fulfilling the three things that a user/customer needs: cognitive, emotional, and physical.
First impression, the place was very clean, very nice, bright, welcoming in that cool cafe way. There were chairs outside and inside, which I always love.
The basic user map was that the user walks in, chooses food, chooses drink, chooses to eat-in or take-away, then pays for the food. They have the restaurant set up so that it’s easy to follow that pattern. The food is the first thing you walk to, then drinks, then counter. Everything is neat and orderly so there’s no confusion about what you need to do to get what you want.
Some other things my mates and I noticed were the use of pictures around the walls. The artwork depicted fruits and vegetables doing very human activities like an apple eating raisins. I don’t really know what these images are supposed to do for the user, but someone thinks they do something. I thought they were a little odd.
The tables are arranged to seat two, which lead us to the conclusion that they are really made for people on a lunch break. (Well, that and the lack of any kind of dinner food).
They make it a point to stress the fact that their food is made and served the same day. We’re guessing that means they bake their own breads as well, but we couldn’t smell any bread baking. We don’t know what that means. But all of the packages of sandwiches have a label that says, “Made today. Gone today.” Considering how healthy the food is, it makes sense that they would want their customers to know that they’re getting fresh food, not food left in the refrigerator for days. All of their vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry come from UK farms. So, by supporting Pret, you’re also supporting these other local businesses.
We came to the ultimate conclusion that Pret A Manger fulfills it’s user’s needs by offering a clean, safe environment to eat clean, safe food, that you can feel good about because it’s good for you and your locals.