| UK

Pret A Manger to invest £9.2m ($12.6m) in raising UK staff pay

More than 6,900 UK store staff will receive at least £10 ($13.70) per hour from April 2022 in Pret’s second pay rise announcement in four months

More than 6,900 Pret store staff will earn at least £10 per hour from April 2022 | Photo credit: Pret A Manger 



Pret A Manger will invest more than £9.2m ($12.6m) to raise wages for 8,000 of its UK store staff from £9.40 up to £10.15 per hour. The move means that 6,900 staff, or 85% of its workforce, will earn at least £10 per hour.

It is the second time Pret has raised café staff wages in four months. In September 2021, both Pret and Costa Coffee announced a 5% pay rise for store staff. Meanwhile, data from recruiter Indeed showed UK hospitality wages grew 4.6% in 2021.
 
“We’ve got big ambitions for Pret’s future, and none of it would be possible without the hard work and commitment of our people. We hope that this announcement goes some way to thanking them for everything they’ve done over the course of pandemic – no one deserves it more,” said Pret A Manger CEO, Pano Christou.
 
The announcement comes as the UK hospitality industry battles severe staff shortages, with Office of national Statistics (ONS) data suggesting businesses in the sector are more than twice as likely as other industries to be experiencing challenges in filling vacancies.
 
Covid-19 and the curtailment of casual workers from the EU after Brexit has further exacerbated the situation, with Pret A Manger co-founder Sinclair Beecham among 65 hospitality leaders calling for the UK government to relax Brexit immigration rules for hospitality workers to ease chronic staff shortages.
 
Despite Pret’s traditional commuter and office worker customer base being hard hit during the pandemic, the chain said its transformation strategy launched in 2020 had put the business in a strong position to further invest in staff.
 
Pret’s coffee subscription service launched in September 2020 is now used more than a million times each week in the UK, the chain reported, while digital sales have also grown since the relaunch of its online delivery programme 18 months ago.
 
The business also continued to grow its franchise partnerships across the UK and internationally, as well as expanding its retail product offer in supermarkets across the UK.
 
Pret A Manger operates 411 stores in the UK, where it employs around 8,500 staff. It also has a further 140 locations across the USA, France, Dubai and Hong Kong. In 2018 the chain was acquired by Luxembourg-based conglomerate, JAB Holdings, for around $1.5bn.

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