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Planned Costa Coffee restructure puts 1,650 UK jobs at risk

UK’s biggest coffee chain directly employees 16,000 staff and is the latest major hospitality business to announce job cuts in the wake of severe coronavirus disruption

A Costa Coffee To Go convenience format store being trialled in London in August 2020 | Photo: Costa Coffee 



Costa Coffee has announced a major restructure of its UK coffee shop business that will put 1,650 jobs at risk. The UK’s biggest coffee chain said it would be working to redeploy some staff to other areas of the business as it worked to protect company finances following months of coronavirus disruption.
 
It is understood part of the restructure includes the removal of the assistant store manager role in UK stores. The Coca-Cola-owned café chain directly employs 16,000 staff in the UK, with a further 10,000 people employed across Costa Coffee franchises nationally.
 
“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,” said Costa Coffee UK and Ireland Managing Director, Neil Lake, in a press statement.
 
“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, whilst emerging stronger ready for future growth.”
 
The announcement follows news that parent company Coca-Cola will undergo a global company restructure to consolidate its 17 business units into nine, resulting in 4,000 staff across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico being offered voluntary redundancy packages.
 
UK hospitality businesses have been hard-hit by temporary store closures and reduced footfall due to coronavirus. Although the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ initiative and temporary VAT cut have provided some respite, many café businesses are trading well below normal as workers and tourists stay away from major city centres.
 
In late-August 2020, UK food-to-go chain, Pret A Manger, announced that 2,800 jobs would be cut and revealed trading was 60% lower than during the same period in 2019.
 
In July 2020, travel concession operator SSP Group, which manages the Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza chains, said 5,000 jobs would be lost amid an 80% reduction in footfall across UK travel hubs.

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