Pret A Manger to hire 3,000 new staff in major expansion drive
Pret A Manger is to hire 3,000 new staff as it looks to double the size of its business within the next five years.
The coffee chain, which cut thousands of jobs after sales plummeted during the pandemic, said it plans to open more than 200 UK shops and expand into five new markets by the end of 2023.
Many of the new sites will be in regional and suburban areas, transport hubs and motorways, with around 100 locations run under franchise.
Pret's backers JAB and founder Sinclair Beecham have invested £100m into the company to drive growth, on top of £185m injected to support the business through the pandemic.
Revenues at Pret dropped 58% to £299m in 2020, compared to £708m in 2019, while its operating loss for the year before tax was £256.5m.
The announcement follows a recovery of sales at Pret shops as more people head back into the office. The group said regional shops were performing at their "strongest ever levels" while central London locations had recovered to 72% of pre-pandemic weekly sales.
Pret's chief executive Pano Christou said: "Last year we were in the eye of the storm during the height of the pandemic. Now we have the chance to build a bright new future for Pret.
"It's been an incredibly tough two years, but we have a big opportunity ahead. Last year, we delivered more change than in 30 years of Pret's history. As we move into the next phase of our transformation, we want to keep the same pace of innovation, but use it drive new growth."
Pret runs around 550 shops across the UK, US, France, Dubai, Hong Kong and Dubai. It employs nearly 8,000 team members globally, including 6,400 in the UK.
Last week the company announced it was giving a 5% pay rise to all staff working in its UK shops from October, increasing the starting rate to £9.40 per hour.
Other hospitality groups have also raised wages in a battle to attract staff to support their expansion. Last week Itsu announced it is increasing the hourly wage for entry-level team members by 11% to a minimum of £10.40 an hour.
Earlier this month Costa Coffee said it was introducing a a 5% pay rise for all 14,500 staff working in company-owned stores in the UK ahead of plans to hire 2,000 new recruits.
Image: 1000 words / Shutterstock