Pret a Manger to cut a further 400 jobs and close six more stores

Pret a Manger is to cut 400 jobs and close six more outlets in London after a slowdown in sales growth since September as coronavirus infection rates increased in the UK.

The coffee and sandwich shop chain has struggled to deal with the slump in commuter numbers since the pandemic struck, with branches in the City of London particularly hard hit. The latest redundancies come on top of nearly 2,900 job cuts and 30 shop closures announced in August.

The major restaurant chain closures and job losses

Costa Coffee – 1,650 jobs 3 September: The company, which was bought by Coca-Cola two years ago, is cutting up to 1,650 jobs in its cafes, more than one in 10 of its workforce. The assistant store manager role will go across all shops.

Pret a Manger – 2,890 jobs 27 August: The majority of the cuts are focused on the sandwich chain’s shop workers, but 90 roles will be lost in its support centre teams. The cuts include the 1,000 job losses announced on 6 July.

Pizza Express – 1,100 jobs 4 August: The restaurant chain plans the closure of 70 restaurants as part of a rescue restructure deal.

Azzurri Group (includes Ask Italian and Zizzi) 17 July: 1,200 jobs lost and 75 restaurants closed ahead of sale to private equity firm

Byron 31 July: 31 out of 51 restaurants closed in rescue deal, with 650 job losses.

Carluccio’s Collapsed In March. About 1,200 jobs were lost when just 31 of its 73 sites were taken on by investor Ranjit Singh Boparan.

Casual Dining Group (includes Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas) 2 July: Closed 91 of its 250 outlets last month, with loss of 1,900 jobs. Sold to private equity.

Chilango 22 July: Has admitted being on the brink of collapse, with the potential loss of 152 jobs.

Pizza Express Closing 67 outlets, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.

Pret a Manger 6 July: Closing 30 branches as part of wider restructuring that puts at least 1,000 jobs at risk.

The Restaurant Group 3 June: Has closed 61 of the 80 branches of Tex-Mex chain Chiquito and 11 Food and Fuel pubs, eliminating 1,500 jobs.Also closing another 120 sites, mainly Frankie & Benny’s, with nearly 3,000 jobs going.

Tossed Went bust in July. Its 20 stores are shut. 260 staff made redundant.

Pret, which employs 6,500 people in the UK, where it operates 389 shops, said it would be making a “number of adjustments” within the business to reduce jobs as well as closing the additional outlets.

Pret said its new coffee subscription service and online business via takeaway courier firms such as Just Eat and Deliveroo was performing strongly and sales had grown over the past four months since high streets were allowed to reopen.

The group is also opening new motorway service station sites with operator Motoin Cherwell Valley and Rugby.

Clare Clough, the UK managing director of Pret, said: “It’s absolutely right that we take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections. Sadly, the result of the rise in infections and the necessary shift in public health guidance mean that our recovery has slowed.

“We’ve said all along that it’s up to Pret to decide our own future and that we must adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in. That’s why we have to make these further changes as we continue to transform our business model and prepare for the six months ahead.”

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