Costa Coffee has become the latest retailer to increase wages for its staff in the wake of Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of the new National Living Wage in July.
Britain’s biggest coffee retailer announced on Wednesday that its 12,500 baristas would earn a minimum of £7.40 an hour, and £8.20 in London, around 20p above the Living Wage which will come into effect in April.
Managing Director Chris Rogers claimed that the rise was prompted neither by the government’s announcement or moves by retailers such as Starbucks and Lidl to raise their minimum wage levels as well.
“We’ve been planning for some time to look at the pay rates because we think it’s really important our team share in the success of our business. It’s not a knee-jerk reaction.”
Rogers continued saying that the pay rise “underpins our growth plans, because people are such an important ingredient in our business, so the better people we have, the better experience our customers will have.”
Whitbread, the leisure group that owns the Costa chain, warned previously that higher costs would come as a result of minimum wage increases. Rogers said it would be difficult to calculate company costs from the rise, but also cited that Costa was making better use of technology and productivity in order to boost profits.