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Pret CEO says dinner is on the menu

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 mins read
Pret's CEO has said plans to introduce dinners are in motion. Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay
Pret's CEO has said plans to introduce dinners are in motion. Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Pret a Manger chief executive Pano Christou says the chain has plans to launch a dinner menu, as he puts coronavirus recovery wheels in motion.

The high street sandwich shop has braced under the pressure of coronavirus lockdowns, but sees the pandemic as an opportunity, according to an interview with Christou published in The Guardian.

News broke at the end of August that 30 of its outlets would close, resulting in 2,800 job cuts.

At the time, the company, which cited the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a huge drop-off in sales when it launched a two-month consultation process with employees in early July, said it had been “forced to take the difficult decision” to axe thousands of jobs.

Even as the easing of coronavirus restrictions has allowed Pret to reopen many of its stores, it has been dented by the thousands of firms who have instructed their employees to continue working from home.

The reduction in roles, Pret said, was a reflection of its shorter opening hours, lower transaction levels, and the losses the company has faced so far this year.

In August, the company said that some 339 of its stores have now reopened. A further 41 will reopen, while 30 will not.

Part of its new strategy has seen the introduction of a coffee loyalty card, entitling those who pay £20 a month to five coffees per day.

Pret said the “YourPret Barista” offering is part of its strategic transformation programme.

Christou told The Guardian the chain has opened a “dark” kitchen — one only open for delivery — in London.

He also said the dinner proposals would be an online-only option.

READ MORE: Analysts say Pret coffee subscription ‘commendable’ but ‘nervous’ of industry shift