Marks & Spencer (M&S) has opened its first standalone café at its headquarters in London's Paddington.
Located alongside the foyer of the company's head office, the 70-seat Merchant Square café is designed to serve both M&S employees as well as the general public. The company runs over 150 cafes nationwide but this is its first standalone outlet.
The menu includes made-to-order hot breakfast rolls, muffins, cakes and in-house baked pastries. Its main food line showcases the best of the M&S food hall ingredients, including hot and cold sandwiches, freshly-made meals, soups and salads.
"Of all the cafés we have designed for M&S, this was one of the most challenging," said Kam Young, co-founder of Kiwi & Pom. "Locally people know this is the M&S headquarters and therefore wouldn't assume the café was for the general public. We had to change this perception."
Over the past four years, M&S's café offer has gone through a total transformation. The cafés, as well as in-store bakeries, deli counters and "Food on the Move" (grab and go style cafe's sited within the food hall) are part of a wider strategy to celebrate the theatre of food preparation and promote M&S's food credentials.
Jason Danciger, head of hospitality for M&S added: "Our cafés are achieving industry leading growth and design has been fundamental to this success. They provide inspiration and food credentials for our customers and practical and operational ease for our teams."