Pret a Manger has made a U-turn on plans to axe staff bonuses after employees threatened to strike.
Yesterday the embattled coffee giant told staff that it planned to make pay-cuts put in place to help it survive the pandemic permanent.
In July 2020, staff were informed that they would temporarily not be paid for breaks and would see their service bonus cut entirely.
After partially reinstating the “mystery shopper” bonus in April, paying 50p per hour instead of the pre-pandemic £1, Pret informed staff these changes would now be enacted on a permanent basis, effectively seeing their average wages cut by 11 per cent.
Following widespread backlash on social media and threats of a company-wide strike, Pret chief executive Pano Christou informed staff the £1 bonus would now be reinstated, according to The Guardian.
Despite this, staff will still not be paid for their breaks, meaning someone working an eight-hour shift will still experience a pay cut of around six per cent.
“The business is still in recovery but it’s important that we continue to invest in and support our teams however we can,” Christou said in an email to staff.
“I have spent over 20 years working for Pret and spent a long time working in our shops so know how important the mystery shopper bonus is to everyone and it is something that sets Pret apart from the competition.
“…Unfortunately it’s taking longer than we had hoped to get sales back to what they were before the pandemic, which is why we’ve had to make some difficult decisions about how we reward our hard-working teams.”
It comes as Pret said it had been forced to close 17 stores last week as a significant portion of its staff were forced to self-isolate amid the ‘pingdemic’ crisis.
The chain has also been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and subsequent work-from-home revolution, severely impacting its returning footfall when stores were allowed to reopen.
Last year Pret was forced to permanently close 74 outlets across the UK and a futher 22 in the US despite investors pumping in an additional £185 million.