, UK

Pret A Manger to increase pay this April

The company will invest over £9.2 million to raise hourly rates amidst sector-wide labour shortages.

For the second time in four months, Pret A Manger is increasing pay for its staff as labour shortages impact various industries.

The sandwich and coffee chain, which runs over 550 stores across five markets, revealed it will invest over £9.2 million in order for 8,000 team members to get a pay increase from £9.40 to up to £10.15 per hour from April, with more than 85% or more than 6,900 getting at least £10 per hour.

Pret’s Mystery Shopper bonus will also increase by 25% to £1.25 per hour, awarded to teams on top of their weekly pay for good service. Currently, over 80% of staff receive the bonus on average each week, the chain said.

The investment marks Pret’s biggest pay and benefits increase in its 36-year history, the company added, part of its ongoing global transformation strategy. 

Its coffee subscription service, launched in September 2020, is now used over a million times each week in the UK. Pret recently said it invested in customised equipment to fuel this service.

Although in-shop sales have fallen as a result of recent government guidance due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, sales across other channels have “performed strongly,” Pret said. Figures from Bloomberg's 'Pret Index' revealed sales at the firm's stores in the City of London and Canary Wharf fell to below a third of pre-pandemic levels between January 3 and January 6.
  
“We’ve said all along that as our business recovered, we wanted to invest back into our people. Today, as we move into a new phase of our transformation strategy, I’m really pleased we’re in a position to do exactly that,” Pret CEO Pano Christou said in a statement.
 
The pay raise also comes months after some Pret workers reportedly threatened to go on strike after being told the company would cease paying for break times.

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