Smoothie Operator – The Pret A Manger Lie

So, here is another Pret A Manger lie.

Pret advertises free “unlimited”, yep, “endless” free smoothies on a monthly subscription.

Trouble is, not many shops do them for free. The reason I keep posting on Twitter is mainly 1. that shop Managers hate giving smoothies for free as they are expensive. Pret HQ comes up with all these freebie marketing, and shops have to foot the bill. 2. Baristas hate doing smoothies and frappes because they take too long to make. Pret staff are tested by weekly Mystery Shoppers if the service is within 60 seconds and if the drinks are served within a minute. Pret under-staffs to maximize profit, so oftentimes there is 1 barista doing coffee and 2 – 3 Team Members “busting” the queues that are lined up to the door. Hence, smoothies and frappes are an inconvenience to make, taking more than a minute.

But the list of excuses is long and typical: Ran out of smoothies, ice machine broken, not included in the offer, staff untrained and clueless, technical issues, subscribe process doesn’t work, email not recognized yada yada yada …

I worked at Pret, I know all the excuses “they” (management and HQ) want staff to give. “Technical” issues is always a classic!

Here are ONLY today’s complaints, there are many more from when the subscription went live.

A little slideshow on customer complaints, many screenshots are also underneath the slideshow. May need wifi to view slides. Due to the new WordPress editor, slideshow does not run automatically but has to be clicked manually:

The following shop ran out of practically everything! 😀

etc. etc. …

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

Endless” blended smoothies:

This would go under false advertisement, no?

If many customers organize and swamp Prets at the same time like a flash mob, and show staff and especially Managers this false advertisement of “unlimited” and “endless” smoothies/frappes etc. – it should be interesting what may happen! Take a video camera y’all! 😀

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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.


Interview:

NOTE: Since WordPress changed to a new editing system, some features may not work anymore. If this audio player doesn’t work please visit my MEDIA page where the old player still works.


Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Seminar on Customer Service

In the spring of 2017 I still worked at Pret as a Team Leader of the shop floor (Floor Leader – FL) when Pret hired the prestigious London Barbican Center to hold a one to two week seminar on customer service. I can’t remember if it was two weeks, but certainly a whole week where Managers and Leaders from different areas where scheduled to attend.

The seminar theme was “Be Kind, Honest, Generous”. Pret did not hire the main Barbican hall, but several rooms upstairs including the Amphitheater. We were led through different rooms where presentations were held, like a video stream being shown on a hidden camera shoot that showed different shop staff member and the mistakes they made in customer service. I cringed at this because Pret already has a very patronizing, micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme where weekly visits happen to test every shop on service, cleanliness, amount of products available etc. If shops fail, the whole bonus is lost. If they succeed everyone receives a bonus and / or an individual staff member can earn an extra up to £200 if they kissed the Mystery Shopper’s butt extra sweet!

A real Mystery Shopper report with the majority of the 32 micromanaging questions I put together on YouTube:

In a nutshell: Low-wage staff HAVE TO smile, chat, give eye contact etc. to present a “happy” image while in reality they are short-staffed, bullied to work fast, many are depressed, take pills or drink to cope with the daily stress. I myself was bullied during already traumatic bereavement, which I share at the bottom audio player interview on a podcast based in California.

Why am I writing about this? Why is this significant?

It was spring 2017 when Pret held this seminar for all Leaders in customer service. This was a year after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s tragic death from an unlabelled allergen (sesame) in a Pret baguette. But at the time I and my colleagues did not know about a customer having died, let alone TWO customers having died from hidden allergen in Pret products.

I learned like everyone else through the media in autumn 2018. And apart from being shocked, I was appalled that Pret did not only NOT tell us about this, but as a Team Leader whose job description also was health and safety, that I wasn’t even briefed or as much as HINTED to be more cautious and diligent about labelling and allergen!

Pret went full steam ahead with business as usual! Natasha’s mum points this out perfectly in about 0:20 into the video:

So, what did Pret do? Pret did a seminar on customer service and how to kiss butt for increased profit. We shop workers laughed about the theme of “be kind, honest, generous” as we knew Pret wasn’t kind, honest, generous. We knew how pretentious the company is and how we were pushed and drilled to present a happy image while being burdened down and lied to by management constantly. We were bullied on silly issues while important issues were ignored.

For example, in the seminar, in one of the rooms we were led through, a scenario was given where trans-sexual customers complained to Pret about being called “sir” when they were female or called “madam” when they were male or identified as a different gender. Or we simply made a mistake by accidentally addressing a customer the wrong way.

Tweet about the theme mentioning Sarah Bohn who’s part of Pret’s training department developing this seminar.

Sarah Bohn (red jacket) on a team-building trip.

I remember Lila Warren, (in above Tweet pictured on the very right – dark jacket/hair), one of the Development Managers from the training department, explaining in great detail that we should not call people sir or madam to not offend etc. I remember getting annoyed at this because Pret staff have one minute to serve customers or risk losing bonus and get fear managed. As a team member I myself served at LEAST about 500+ people in a 6 hour shift, especially when I worked in the morning coffee AND lunch rushes! The pace is so relentless as regular customers will know. The many Mystery Shopper questions that I listed in above YouTube slide show how staff are micromanaged and have to follow silly and unnecessary rules upon rules upon rules …

When a customer then looked male or female, we just simply were too busy, swamped with volumes of customers and work, and we were plainly exhausted from the same menial fake smiley tasks, then surely it cannot be a catastrophe to address a customer wrongly by MISTAKE. I did that a few times, apologized and even gave a free coffee.

YET! Pret did not see it important to hold a seminar on allergen and food labelling!

I write about Lila Warren on my blog as she was instrumental in my ordeal. In a nutshell, Lila Warren was tasked to give me a disciplinary when I spiralled into late night emailing to Pret after I was systemically bullied by Pret leadership under the watchful eye of the HR department. This had former CEO Clive Schlee call me his “late night girl”. I explain in detail in the audio player at the bottom.

Pret had no grounds to fire me. In fact Pret was worried that I’d go to court after what they put me through from the top down. I was offered 4 settlement offers if I resign and be silent about my ordeal. Three offers came while I worked at Pret refusing to resign, and the fourth offer came after I withdrew the court case that I filed against Pret. I withdrew as my dad just died at the time of preparing for the case. But as I declined all 3 money offers, Pret put Lila Warren on my case. And this was the most toxic and perverse thing Pret has done and that I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Lila claimed that she had a brother who died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for days. Just like my brother. She gave me a disciplinary for emailing Pret, but then entered into private emailing and text messaging with me, which resulted in me getting fired. It was a vile plan that I still recover from today.

Pret A Manger being “honest, kind and generous”?

Yikes! It’s the typical PR stunt that Pret is so known for. Ignoring multiple customer warnings on labelling before AND after customers have died. Bullying low-wage staff and HQ staff to the point of suicide to maximize profit. Mainstream media is in Pret’s pocket and they like to ignore my writings, but steal from it for their own press articles.

More former and current Pret staff will stand up. Several lawsuits are coming up and Pret’s facade keeps getting cracked.

Just few of the many Pret staff reviews:


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.


Interview:

NOTE: Since WordPress changed to a new editing system, some features don’t work anymore. If the below audio player doesn’t work, please visit my MEDIA page where it works and other articles are listed.


Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.