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So, here is Pret A Manger’s psychology in using terms & slogans: “freshly made”. You can “freshly make” a sandwich with expired ingredients, mouldy cheese & stale bread. It’s “freshly made” with UN-fresh ingredients!
The following blog posts are important to read:
- Pret food is NOT natural and why the word “natural” has disappeared off Pret’s signage and packaging. I explain in detail here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat
- Pret A Manger uses expired food. More here: Pret A Manger “Stretches” Dates
I mention these because I was contacted on Twitter with the following, in part, quote:
“Pret have started keeping their food overnight and selling it the next day. Considering they’ve built their entire brand on the Freshly Made slogan it’s very misleading. They’ve also slowly started removing all the freshly prepared signs from their stores hoping no one finds out.”
End of quote.
UPDATE: September 2021
Pret together with the TooGoodToGo app now SELL leftover food for cheaper price in bags for people to pick up from shops. The OLIO app still give free food while TGTG app sells it now! Even HOT food that has expired after the 2 hours shelf life is now sold that Pret wouldn’t even give for free before, due to safety issues with the temperature fluctuation! Pret was VERY strict about this and I was reprimanded once by my Manager for giving out-of-shelf life hot food to the charity that picked up food in the evening! More detail: Pret A Manger Health and Safety Hypocricy.
So, when it comes to money, anything goes suddenly! And Pret sells expired food under the “charity” umbrella to collect money for the Pret Foundation Trust to, quote: “alleviate poverty” while having made cuts to staff wages and benefits. Pret workers are now on minimum-wage and have to top up their pay with benefits. Pret CEO Pano Christou even has the audacity to ask his low-wage staff for donations! Pret is trying to get money at EVERY turn having installed donation devices in shops that customers mistake for payment devices and accidentally donate to Pret! Katchink!
I strongly believe Pret should get investigated on where the donations REALLY go to! More on Pret’s Foundation Trust: Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects, and WHEN they do charity events.
I have to mention like I did in above “Stretched Dates” post, that in Pret, many Managers and Leaders have always stretched dates, especially during the Christmas period when the depot sent short-dated ingredients to get rid of stock, as the holidays approached and stock was sitting around expiring.
I won’t bother posting all the Tweets of customers who complain to Pret with and without photos that the bread is stale, or the chicken tastes off etc. Just a few so you won’t need to take my word for it. There has always been date stretching, but since the lock-downs it’s gotten worse. Below Tweets are all from DIFFERENT shops, so this is not just the odd shop here or there, it’s throughout the board. And as a side-note, Pret received a cash injection from owners JAB recently: JAB pumps £185m into Pret via MCA-insight.com
13.08.2021 mould on cheese (for this Italian style “Parmesan” cheese to get mouldy, it takes a very LONG time. This means, this cheese has been stored way beyond its expiry date or the fridge was not cooled appropriately, and understaffed shops have no time to get it fixed):
04.09.2021 mould on bread:
22.11.2021 mould on newly launched Christmas sandwich:
UPDATE Jan. 2022
A customer who seems to know that I write publicly on Pret issues posted to me on Facebook that Pret’s food isn’t freshly made. I first responded to his fair-trade question that Pret had to remove the word “natural” from signage and packaging, but my post disappeared (either got deleted by FB or hidden, I can’t find it) he responded:
Link to FB post. Please click on “View … more replies” to see the post.
07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!
Now THIS is bad, because pickled cornichons and cucumbers take months to mould! This mouldy cornichon hasn’t just gone bad within days, who knows how long it has been sitting in that Pret kitchen fridge! More detail on the times when mould forms, here: Can Pickles Go Bad?
Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019
Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!
Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:
Mouldy breakfast berry compote:
UPDATE from July 2021 on:
Part of a private Facebook message with a former Pret staff who allowed me to post this on my blog. Thei experience DURING the pandemic where sandwiches, products are kept over-night and expired foods are used, and to my surprise that the ready cooked factory soups that come in plastic bags are now are frozen to keep them beyond their expiry dates:
(mild = milk)
A customer called Pret out on this:
Link to Tweet.
An indicator that soup was frozen before re-heating again. Customers usually rant and rave about the Mushroom Risotto soup being their favourite soup from Pret. But here, it’s the worst, quote: “runny like soup, hardly warm and tastes odd”. I used to freeze soups I bought from the supermarket or cooked myself. With “creamy” soups it does become runny and tasteless.
About the toasties etc. being carried over to the next day and NOT freshly made daily, as Pret claims, confirms what another current staff private messaged me on Twitter a few months ago: Pret Food is NOT Fresh
And about the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.
In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.
Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here:
Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates
And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:
And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat droppings on food!
Some of many staff reviews:
Link to General Manager review regarding “cheating” to please OPs Managers pressure.
etc. etc. etc.
For other “gone off” foods, please visit pest infested Pret shops via
Rat A Manger & Pret A Mice
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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.
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