// Sandwich chain Pret A Manger has hiked pay for staff to above £10 an hour, in what it has called its biggest ever pay increase
// In a £9.2m investment, 8,000 staff members in the UK will see their wages increase
Pret a Manger is increasing pay for the second time in four months, in what it has called its biggest ever pay increase, as labour shortages force up wages across the hospitality and retail industries.
In a £9.2 million investment, some 8,000 staff members in the UK are set to see pay increase from a baseline of £9.40-9.56, to up to £10.15 per hour.
Baristas will see pay increase from £9.88-10.08 to £10.30-11.05 per hour, depending on location and experience, the company said on Wednesday.
More than 85% of staff will receive at least £10 per hour while the coffee chain’s mystery shopper bonus will increase 25 per cent to £1.25 per hour.
The company said it wanted to recognise the resilience and hard work of its store staff throughout the pandemic.
Pret, which has 550 outlets around the world, said the changes were the biggest increase in pay and benefits in its 36-year history and were the result of its successful transformation strategy since 2020 and “the stronger position the business is now in”.
The company said in-store sales were “recovering strongly” last year and, although they had fallen since new government guidance to work from home because of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, new areas of business were doing well.
The group’s subscription service, launched in September, is now used more than 1 million times a week in the UK and home deliveries are also on the rise.
The retailer has embarked on plans to open more than 200 new sites in the UK within the next five years, targeting suburban and transport hubs.
Pret chief executive Pano Christou said: “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.”
He added: “After a difficult couple of years, it gives me so much joy to be able to give our hard-working shop teams this news. Crucially, when you combine our hourly pay, our 50 per cent staff discount, and the Pret mystery shopper bonus, we’re proud to be one of the best employers in our industry.”
The boost for workers comes only five months after Pret workers threatened to go on strike after being told the company would cease paying for break times, meaning that someone on an eight-hour shift, including a legally required half-hour break, would receive a pay cut of just over 6% a shift compared with pre-pandemic levels.