,UK

Pret boss ‘optimistic’ as chain reports 15% sales to near pre-pandemic levels

The company also saw a “significant step up” at their airport shops after travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers were eased.

Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou expressed optimism about trading in city centres after employees returning to offices the other week drove a 15% sales uplift in just seven days. 

In an interview with the Mail, Christou said sales at sandwich shops in city centres had now returned to about 80% of pre-pandemic levels and had seen a “significant step up” at their airport shops after travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers were eased.

The first full week after the school holidays served as the “acid test” to gauge the scale of workers returning to areas after a switch to remote working over the pandemic.

Christou added many employees were adopting a hybrid working model, spending two or three days of each week in the office.

“We are optimistic and confident this demand will continue to build throughout the rest of the year,”  he said. “Suburban locations have continued to stay very strong. Where we are in regional towns, things are pretty much back to normal.”

Last summer, Pret, owned by the German fund JAB Holdings, cut 3,700 jobs and closed 39 sandwich shops after sales fell by up to 80% in some of its locations.

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