Pret’s new PR stunt: Raising Wages in PENNIES calling it “Biggest” Ever Raise in 36 Years

Here we are again, Pret with the help of mainstream media doing their usual PR stunt. Headlines saying that Pret raises wages the second time in months … or this being the biggest ever raise in Pret’s 36 year history … or calling it a pay “boost” … etc.

And upfront as a little side-note, it is telling that Pret made this announcement on their website and NOT anywhere on social media, but let the press announce it. Pret has recently deleted former staff comments and made commenting on their “We’re hiring” posts unavailable. So, they don’t make staff announcements anymore on social media, but use the press for it as Pret wouldn’t be able to keep up with deleting all those staff comments! Why? Here’s why with screenshots of deleted staff comments: Pret “Last Minute” Staff Shortages?

Calling 50p or even 90p etc. the “biggest ever” raise in 36 years is very telling how 1. greedy Pret is and 2. how easily fooled the public is with the help of mainstream media! And even Unions fall for this, assuming “victory” where there is none! Pret only always raised pay a few pennies when the government raised the minimum-wage. On their own, Pret did not raise wages, that’s why they may be calling these peanuts the biggest ever in 36 years. Quite a joke!

With the rising costs of food, utility bills etc. Pret staff are not only NOT better off than before, they’re WORSE off! Pret already made pay cuts during the pandemic down to minimum-wage, as well as cutting benefits, paid breaks and other perks. Raising the pay back to a little over minimum-wage is where staff were before, yet workers are still worse off then before! No more paid breaks. Staff rebates down from 50% to 25%. And other perks and benefits that remain cut.

And before you office workers complain that you don’t get your breaks paid, you should work just 1 hour in any Pret shop! You will run out within minutes, kissing the pavement!

So, what’s this new Pret hype all about that most fall for again?

A pay rise in pennies that’s a little over minimum-wage, like they had before Pret cut wages to minimum. Yet, wages are still under the Living Wage and Pret keeps the “temporary” benefits cut and other perks they cut during the pandemic, while putting more work on staff who work for 3 people each!

The bonus from £1 to £1.25 is also a joke because bonus is at the discretion of extremely strict, micromanaging weekly Mystery Shoppers AND shop management. Bonus can be refused for any and all reasons, no matter how small! Staff reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed have mentioned that the bonus is used as a “weapon“.

Or another review where shops are extremely under-staffed and workers have NO CHANCE to do everything as they have no staff, and the Mystery Shopper cuts the bonus because there was a little toilet paper on the floor in the toilet! Quote from Glassdoor review “Stressful“:

»Constantly understaffed and expected to clean the entire store and multitask like crazy because there is no one else to do it
Sometimes really hard to get the bonus because you work so hard to make the entire store presentable, clean and neat but if the mystery shopper comes during the busy lunch period when you are understaffed and have to stay on till and cannot leave it and tidy the shop floor and they then don’t give you the bonus because there was ‘toilet paper on the floor in the toilet that could have been tidied’. Or if there is a long queue until the door they complain that they were not served within a minute and a half of joining the queue which is ridiculous.«

And these are just 2 of the many reviews on Mystery Shopper bonus issues. And from my own experience, I and my colleagues have been threatened with not getting bonus for the silliest reasons. Current Pret staff who recently wrote to me said that their shops hardly get bonus anymore due to the utter chaos and mess in their under-staffed shops! I know from experience that it was already hard before the pandemic, but I don’t even want to think how staff suffer now, physically, mentally and financially. All the while Pret boast again, having a laugh on the cost of their hard-working employees.

I write about the extremely strict, micromanaging and humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme where ONE staff did not ask a SPECIFIC question, resulting in the whole shop team to not get bonus.

If you don’t read anything I write, PLEASE READ the following Mystery Shopper report via the link, and tell me if reinstating and even raising the bonus isn’t a PR trick by Pret: Pret Staff don’t look Happy.

But not only a little toilet paper on the floor is the issue now, many customers complain about dirty shops. London City Airport has received a hygiene rating of 2 in December after an EHO visit. Detail here.

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The bonus system is a tool to manipulate and fear manage staff. Low-wage shop and kitchen staff ONLY rely on the bonus via the weekly Mystery Shoppers AND shop managers random mood swings.

Shop and area Managers (OPs – Operations Managers) get their bonuses quarterly and their bonuses rely on a host of things like shop profits, waste management, labour costs etc., and the biggest chunk is the Mystery Shopper scores. But shop/kitchen staff only get or lose bonus from Mystery Shopper visits and Managers’ moods.

Hence, Pret reinstating the bonus back in September 2021 after a staff member announced a strike action because Pret cut bonus from £1 to 50p, is a TRICK. I explain in detail here: Pret Staff Consider Strike Action.

The psychology is simple: Pret cut wages to minimum-wage DURING the most dangerous times in recent world history. Pret also cut benefits and other perks. Then Pret raises the wage again to a little over minimum-wage the way it was BEFORE, while keeping benefits cut and staff doing much more work. And thus, they continue to sell ice-cubes to Eskimos in winter time.

And unfortunately staff, most of the public and the press fell for it! Even Unions celebrate! Shame on y’all!

Link

Pret did NOT raise the wages now in pennies because of the strike announcement back in August 2021.

Pret now raised a few pennies as psychology for low-wage workers and the public because many Pret staff walked out, shops closed (also due to rent issues and lawsuits on unpaid rents etc.), many customers announced boycotts and some vowed to never set foot inside Pret again, Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret, bad press etc.

All these led to Pret playing another trick by raising the wages a few pennies above minimum wage, but still under the Living Wage.

And all y’all are fooled again! Shame!

And as a visual reminder again, former CEO Clive Schlee pocketing £30million in BONUS for himself alone! Do a rough calculation how much pay PLUS bonus current CEO Pano Christou, all the other execs and the shareholders get! And then tell me again that the pay “boost” and investment of £9.2million for 8000 front-line staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on wage cuts risking their lives, is generous!

Link

Pret’s owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns, must have given the green light to Pano Christou to throw a few crumbs at workers to appease the public and burnt-out staff. Front-line workers are so burnt out, they have no strength to even look for a better job. Morale is low, hope is gone, so a few pennies are supposed to fool them again! And it will.

»You can’t run a business on goodwill when the goodwill dries up.«
– Pret Staff Review on Glassdoor.

And remember the NHS smokescreen in March 2020 just before first lock-down? Here’s a reminder!

On 18. March 2020 Pret VERY quickly acted to the possibilities of a lock-down and announced free coffees and 50% rebates on food for NHS workers. The press and the public went ballistic with praise.

The very next morning on 19. March 2020, I wake up to a Twitter DM by a Pret staff who in despair wrote that shops have just received an email by CEO Pano Christou in the morning, announcing cuts to staff hours, and with it to pay. Other Pret staff started to send me the CEO email from that morning which I then published on my blog, as my website is the “channel” so-to-speak between Pret staff and the public/press.

I tweeted this to the press and all over, and Pret retracted for a few months until grass grew over it, but then started making cuts left right and center. But only to front-line Pret staff.

NHS workers were used twofold, 1. as a PR stunt for the public as well as NHS staff, and 2. as a smokescreen to hide cuts to staff. I write about the timing of this announcement and posted the full CEO email to shops here: To NHS Employees.

It is safe to say that millionaire Pret execs, who safely worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned head office, TOOK from their low-wage front-line workers to pay for the NHS freebie PR stunt. And you all applauded!

And here is how Pret continually get caught doing Wage Theft.

Also, if anyone wants to take a peek behind the scenes on WHY Pret always makes BIG and noisy “charity” announcements: Pret’s Charity Projects.

So, dear mainstream media, you can continue to ignore my writings, my own experience and firsthand knowledge of Pret. You can continue to support this gaslighting system that claims to not be able to afford at the LEAST a living wage and PROPER benefits, to keep on enriching entitled prats who s*it on those who made them rich! You can continue to ignore Pret staff experiences and keep their voices silenced. You can continue to suck up to Pret because it’s not YOU who has to feed children on slave wages, after getting burnt out day-in, day-out until there’s nothing left to even find hope that this short life can be good for hard-working, honest people, who are stepped upon because their work is called “low-skill” to justify poverty wages …!

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That’s why very few people make it on my blog and YouTube posts, who are not as easily served up with Pret’s PR bullcrap!

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

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