Below are just a few of the recent or repeated lawsuits Pret has faced and/or settled. Some lawsuits have disappeared off the news, and it may be because the plaintiffs settle out of court and signed an NDA, like the former staff lawsuit on racism. The case completely disappeared off the news.
Many customers on social media complain that Pret has raised prices to 20-24%.
Apart from getting more money of course, it is to cater to the owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns. Also serving shareholders and Pret executives, it may be that because Pret is facing settlement payments, who better to foot the bill than customers.
In the USA people sue very quick, while in the UK, even after customers died, hardly anyone is suing, and when they do, Pret keeps winning. The legal systems in the USA and the UK can’t be further apart.
A staff member in the USA mentioned the constant lawsuits against Pret:
There are ongoing lawsuits, at least six against Pret in the USA for unpaid rents. And even though Pret got help from the Government for employee costs during Covid, has received a cash injection from owners JAB Holdings of £185 million, have been awarded £100 million from shareholders etc. These are what Pret received. Another £87 million Pret is trying to get from the banks.
Altogether Pret received Government help and privately £285 million plus trying to get another £87 million. All the while refusing to pay bills and many customers feel cheated on the subscription service, hardly getting the items they’ve been told they’d get.
BBC report: Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal and many other issues that customers AND staff raise with Pret or the press.
The money Pret received, they don’t use to pay their rents and debt, they use it to open 200 more shops. Pret lowered wages, benefits, paid breaks of already stretched and burnt out front-line workers, then raised the wage to £10 after a lot of public pressure and a strike announcement. But the raise is still UNDER the living wage and Pret just made a big PR announcement about it! Staff are still worse off than already before.
Pret raise prices, refuse to pay the bills etc. etc. And now customers and staff foot the bill under the inflation umbrella.
Article: Pret A Manger facing millions in Lawsuits for unpaid rents.
A few recent lawsuits, some that have been settled, others that are still ongoing or settled and plaintiffs can’t speak about it.
One of the most troubling ones, and where Pret is showing their TYPICAL naughty streak is the fingerprinting of employees in Illinois. The $677,000 settlement is really peanuts, because 800 current/former staff will get around $500+ each AFTER legal aid took their share.
Link: Pret A Manger Fingerprinting Class Action Suit Reaches Settlement
While I’m with staff lawsuits, Pret had to repay TWICE 4000 staff for “shaving off” (rounding down), cheating staff out of pay. I write about this here: Wage Theft in Pret
And another former staff lawsuit regarding racism in several NYC shops. This is the lawsuit that has disappeared off the public and press, unless I’m not searching right. Link: Lawsuit vs Pret A Manger on Racism with a link to the full court document.
I can’t find any more info on this lawsuit and its outcome. I suspect that it was settled and the plaintiff Ms. Battle may have signed an NDA. Hence, we won’t hear of it anymore in the public. But it’s just my guess.
Regarding Allergen Lawsuits – So far Pret has won them ALL, unless something got settled out of court and so is not in the public knowledge.
Pret has set aside £10 million for allergen lawsuits and keep winning cases, even after two customers have died and 20+ allergen injuries Pret ignored until it all blew up in the media. Pret won because they didn’t break any law. and YET, Pret still don’t label in Paris and Dubai according to customers there. The UK now has “Natasha’s Law”, so it is LAW to label food. And which ever country outside the UK that does not have labelling laws, Pret just goes ahead and DON’T label! So far to the “meaningful change” Pret promised in 2018 when the deaths and injuries were revealed.
More here: Pret do NOT label food in Dubai, Paris …
Instead of setting ONLY aside £10 million for lawsuit settlements, Pret should continue to invest in LABELLING also outside of the UK. In the UK “Natasha’s Law” is now in effect since October 2021, but Pret AGAIN will blame laws in other countries should another customer die or get injured.
Pret set aside £10 million for food allergy scandal costs
And other lawsuits that are older or settled out of court.
One important lawsuit and challenge by the Advertising Standards Authority is on Pret’s “Natural” claim. Many people either haven’t noticed yet, or don’t know why Pret removed the word “natural” off all their signage and packaging. I explain here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat
etc. etc. etc.
One interesting lawsuit that was won against Pret RE-founder and itsu founder Julian Metcalfe where former Pret CEO Clive Schlee was involved (who owns half of itsu) is from 2002, quote from The Caterer article:
A senior chef last week won his unfair dismissal case against Julian Metcalfe, founder of both the Pret A Manger sandwich-shop chain and Itsu sushi restaurants in London.
Clive Fretwell, who had worked for 14 years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, told a Woburn employment tribunal he had been recruited in 1988 to help develop a chain of Itsu restaurants.
He said the intention had been to give him a 2.5% founding stake in the business and an additional 10% in two years, with the possibility of ‘big money’ if it were sold. When a second restaurant, which opened two years later, failed to live up to expectations, Fretwell claimed he became aware that Metcalfe and Itsu co-director Clive Schlee were trying to get rid of him.
He said he was told last July that the company could not afford his salary, and he was dismissed in August.
The compensation agreed was undisclosed.” End of quote.
And to wrap it up, Pret’s year in review 2021:
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.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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