Pret cuts third of staff as decade of growth is lost
PRET A Manger has cut 2,800 jobs after 10 years of growth were wiped out by a Covid sales crash.
The redundancies – equal to more than a third of Pret’s workforce – come after the sandwich and coffee chain said last month that it was planning to shut 30 shops in a major shake-up. Most Pret stores have now reopened after lockdown was lifted, but visitor numbers remain brutally low as the office workers who it relies on for trade stay at home.
Although Pret said there have been signs of recovery in footfall since restrictions were eased, sales are still down about 60pc compared with the same time last year.
Tens of thousands of pub, café and restaurant jobs have been slashed since the crisis hit. Pano Christou, its chief, said: “The pandemic has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret.
“We’ve managed to protect many jobs by making changes to the way we run our shops and the hours we ask team members to work.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to review all these changes now that trade is improving again, and I’m encouraged by the improvements we’re seeing every week.” Alongside a steep reduction in shop staff, 90 roles were also axed in the company’s support centre teams.
Around 1,000 other roles were saved when staff agreed to move to reduced minimum weekly hours.
The company said it will review the change to reflect footfall and sales levels during the rest of this year and early 2021.
Pret has reopened 339 of its sites following the lockdown.