Costa to cut 10pc of staff as sales re­cov­ery re­mains un­cer­tain

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Rhi­an­non Curry

ABOUT 1,650 Costa Cof­fee baris­tas are fac­ing re­dun­dancy af­ter the café chain said it did not know when trad­ing might re­turn to pre-coro­n­avirus lev­els.

The cuts are equal to more than 10pc of its work­force and make Costa the lat­est UK hos­pi­tal­ity busi­ness to slash jobs in the wake of lock­down.

The Coca-Cola-owned com­pany was forced to close al­most all of its 2,700 UK stores for six weeks dur­ing the pan­demic, but be­gan the process of re­open­ing sites in May. At present, it has more than 2,400 stores trad­ing.

Dur­ing the time that shops were closed, staff were moved on to the Gov­ern­ment’s fur­lough scheme, which was topped up by Costa for 12 weeks so that em­ploy­ees re­ceived their full pay.

But while the busi­ness was boosted by Rishi Su­nak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme since re­open­ing, it warned there were still “high lev­els of un­cer­tainty” as to when sales would re­cover to what they had been be­fore the lock­down. De­spite freez­ing all pay in­creases within its head of­fice and cut­ting non-es­sen­tial ex­pen­di­ture, the chain said it needed to take “ad­di­tional ac­tion” to shore up its fu­ture. This has meant re­view­ing in-store roles, it said.

Costa will try to find those at risk al­ter­na­tive jobs in the busi­ness if pos­si­ble. Neil Lake, man­ag­ing direc­tor for Costa Cof­fee UK and Ire­land, said: “To­day’s an­nounce­ment to our store teams was an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make. Our baris­tas are the heart of the Costa busi­ness and I am truly sorry that many now face un­cer­tainty fol­low­ing to­day’s news.

“We have had to make these dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions to pro­tect the busi­ness and en­sure we safe­guard as many jobs as pos­si­ble for our 16,000 team mem­bers, while emerg­ing stronger ready for fu­ture growth.”

Last week, Pret a Manger an­nounced plans to cut 2,800 jobs af­ter 10 years of growth were wiped out by Covid.

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