This is a review from February 2018 of a multi-tasking TM who covers for Barista, Hot Chef, probably also kitchen as many of those “multi-taskers” are thrown into all kinds of jobs to cover after managers cut staff all over the place to maximize profit. So, this person knows what they’re talking about.
Several Quotes of the Day:
“Considering it’s a coffee shop, you are not allowed to drink in view of the customers. At lunchtimes you are not allowed to leave the till between 12-2pm so end up with a dry mouth and feeling fatigued. You can sneak a drink sometimes behind a wall, but if you’re caught by the manager you get a telling off.”
Additional NOTE: I always let my team drink water behind the counter if they weren’t allowed to leave the counter area. Behind the coffee counter with air conditioning often not working properly the air is dry and overheated. Excruciating and inhumane to work like this dehydrated.
“Living in London you will hardly have enough to live off of. Even with bonus, the wage is not realistic considering the cost of living in the city and the amount of work you have to do at Pret.”
“The mystery shoppers are very picky and you can lose your bonus for simply being too engrossed in the task you’re dealing with. E.g. restocking a fridge and not stopping and turning to say hi, how are they etc.”
Additional NOTE: Again, inhumane.
“Also when you’re short staffed you may not be able to constantly check the shop floor, and you will get marked down for uncleanliness and again lose your bonus. Very unrealistic expectations”
“You will never get time to 100% finish a task because customers come first. A good policy, but not so good when you’re restocking drinks and a leader will make you go to the till because they can’t be bothered to serve themselves. Amongst other scenarios.”
Additional NOTE: Poor management for which Pret is known for.
“Clash with management. Sometimes your manager will tell you to do something, and then the assistant manager will tell you to do something else or question why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s annoying and stressful at times when you feel like you’ve done something wrong but it’s what you’ve been told to do!! Have to split yourself into a million pieces.”
Additional NOTE: Again, poor management for which Pret is known for.
“Being a Barista can be highly stressful at busy times and some customers are not forgiving/highly impatient which adds to the stress factor. Flustered team members add to the chaos.”
“Quick turnaround of staff. Some shops are constantly losing and gaining new staff so it can be stressful trying to deal with peoples mistakes. We’ve all been there, but it just makes the day a lot harder when you have 3 or 4 new staff on the tills shouting the wrong drinks etc.“
Additional NOTE: Again, poor management, solely profit driven, no care for staff and customers.
“Managers tend to cut hours…”
“Weekly rota that usually gets given to you a day before the new working week starts, so you generally can’t plan things because you don’t know what shift you’re on.”
Additional NOTE: Rotas that should be ready on display two weeks in advance. I worked with over a dozen managers, and only 2 GMs managed to have the rota ready according to standard two weeks in advance and communicated well if they needed to change the schedule a little. Most managers are at a loss of how to do the rota and do the rota on time.
“You tend to get stuck on certain shifts for weeks on end so make sure you voice your opinion if you don’t want to close for the 6th week in a row.”
Additional NOTE: In the first months of my bereavement my then GM put me on 5 months late shift which isolated me from vital support from friends as I got home around 10pm. I voiced my complain but to no avail. This is when my ordeal of the bullying during grief started!
“The positions are hardly worth it for the pay you get. Better off being a team member if you don’t see Pret as a long term career prospect.”
“Raise the wages. For the money pret spends on waste or joy of pret budget, some could be put towards a £1 pay rise for staff (not including bonus).”
Additional NOTE: That’s not going to happen unless a lot of people leave Pret.
February 2018 review of an All-rounder in London.
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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