Pret A Manger to cut a third of staff


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Troubled sandwich chain Pret A Manger is to make around a third of its workforce redundant as demand from commuters and office workers fails to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Around 3,000 jobs, mainly at its stores, will be lost, but 90 support centre roles will also be cut.

“Although we’re now starting to see a steady but slow recovery, the pandemic has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret,” said chief executive Pano Christou.

“We’ve managed to protect many jobs by making changes to the way we run our shops and the hours we ask team members to work.

“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to review all these changes now that trade is improving again.”

Christou said Pret was grateful for the support the government had given the hospitality sector and hoped that it would “continue as long as possible” to give Pret time to adjust.

Around 1,000 other roles at the company have been protected after staff members agreed to a reduction in their minimum weekly working hours. The company said these hours will be continuously reviewed into early 2021 to reflect footfall and sales.

Pret said that although there had been “clear signs of recovery” since the lockdown was eased, trade was still around 60% down year-on-year in July. It 367 UK stores are now open for significantly fewer hours than they were before the pandemic, but around 30 have, or are set to, close.

Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April and 1.4 million workers were furloughed – the highest proportions of any sector, according to government data.

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