Pret A Manger to shut 30 shops and ‘cut 1,000 jobs’

exterior of Pret A Manger shop

Image copyright
Getty Images

Café chain Pret A Manger is to close 30 outlets and is expected to cut at least 1,000 jobs at other shops as part of a post-pandemic restructuring.

The firm said the impact of coronavirus on trading meant it had to make a “difficult decision”.

Pret said it needed to reduce headcount across its UK shops to “reflect lower footfall, rental costs and new safety measures”.

It did not say how many jobs would go, but a source confirmed more than 1,000.

About 330 jobs will be lost with the closure of the 30 shops. Pret said 339 of its 410 shops have so far reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

‘Sad day’

But trading remains slow, with sales down 74% year-on-year, the company said.

Pret chief executive Pano Christou said: “It’s a sad day for the whole Pret family, and I’m devastated that we will be losing so many employees. But we must make these changes to adapt to the new retail environment.

“Our goal now is to bring Pret to more people, through different channels and in new ways, enabling us to grow once more in the medium term.”

The company is in talks with landlords about reducing its rent bill.

  • Restaurants are ‘hurting’, says Deliveroo boss
  • Fears of job cuts at Pret a Manger as sales plunge

Pret is also trying to reduce its reliance on lunchtime office workers, launching a retail coffee initiative with Amazon and a delivery partnership with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats. There are also click and collect trials in five shops in London.

Pret said sales across these digital channels have already grown 480% year-on-year, and now represent over 8% of total UK sales.

Pret owns 550 outlets globally employing 13,000 staff, including 8,000 in the UK.