15 December – Day 15 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020
More on Pret’s daily foodwaste in plastic to landfill, here: Pret A Manger Food Waste
I made a video edit of some of the mice, rats, bugs issues at Pret for people who don’t want to read long blog posts:
UPDATE: December 2021
A review by staff about dead mice in the kitchen! Since the pandemic and hugely understaffed shops, Pret has certainly gone downhill while on Linkedin pretending to be soaring again, receiving many business people’s praise. Many know how bad Pret is, but they’re all bystanders and enabler of terrible work conditions.
Link to review on Glassdoor.
UPDATE: August 2021
There have been many more complaints on bugs in food for months, but I’ll just include a few from only last week which are only those that customers bother to post online. How many don’t complain on social media, and how many have eaten bugs, rat / mice droppings, plastic etc.?
Ham on Tuna Baguette. Cross contamination easily done by understaffed shops, rushing, no time to clean their bench or wash hands:
And so on and so forth…
One rat sighting on 6th September 2019 in a Soho Pret Branch has everyone on their chairs, not realizing this is just a visual of a bigger problem.
Rat dropping baked into Pret baguette!
As well as a fly baked into a Pret cookie:
A video post from 2018 in NY of a LIVE maggot in a Pret sandwich and Pret not responding to the complaint, quote:
“Pret A Manger, Union Square, Manhattan; Their Turkey sandwich had a live worm in it (maybe several, I might have eaten a few). They reacted with indifference when I showed it to them, so… time to put it here.”
Link to video
UPDATE: May 2021
These are just videos and photos some people took and posted. The problem is much bigger!
I worked in mice infested Pret shops and asked to be transferred to a clean shop, as Pret didn’t tackle the problem UNTIL an EHO closed down a shop due to pest infestation.
Pret only reacts when their pockets are squeezed.
This picture is from a shop I worked at where a mouse built their house inside a Bloomer bread loaf. In one shop where Pret kept ignoring our plea to close down to clean up the place, the mice were so bold, they didn’t just come out at night when it’s dark and quiet, no, they strolled along under the coffee counter even during the busy and noisy coffee rush! It was ridiculous and like a Tom & Jerry clip how blunt the mice were. They were taking the Micky Mouse! I asked for a transfer.
I learned a lot about mice then. Their favourite Pret products are: seeded bloomer bread (above picture) which Pret uses for Toasties, but they settle for the Granary bread as well.
Seeded High Fiber muffin, but they don’t touch the Blueberry muffin, so, dear customer you can still enjoy.
Popcorn. Oh, do mice love popcorn!!! The amount of opened, nibbled on popcorn bags we had to waste I can’t count! Some customers even put a popcorn bag on the counter saying “Oh, this is already open!” And we staff blushed and apologized for this mishap, knowing exactly “who” was responsible for opening it! I wanted to SCREAM to the customer:
“WE HAVE MICE BUT PRET ISN’T DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!”
So, as usual, it took an Environmental Health Officer from the Government to do a routine check, and close down a shop having found mice droppings all over the place.
If you ever pass by a Pret shop and they are closed in the middle of the morning or day with a sign saying something like, “For technical/internal reasons/issues…closed…” Then take a good look inside, and if you see the team frantically cleaning and moving furniture around, you may have gotten yourself a little pest issue in there.
And since the EHO closed a shop in 2011/12, Pret then FINALLY got an outside Pest Control company to do checks once there is a sighting of droppings or pests. But it took a shop closure. Before, I had more mice as colleagues than humans in two shops!
A Manager review from London in 2014 about mice droppings (poo) and advising people not to eat at Pret. This is AFTER an EHO closed down a Pret shop 2+ years before. Pret is never on top of their game, they always just play catch-up when it’s too late. The manager here points out the SPEED that is always at the center of work.
A review from January 2019: “dirty place”
Another one from the U.S.
And a very recent review on poor hygiene due to time pressure:
I’ve put a video slide together on YouTube about the speed and time pressure staff are subjected to for £8.25 an hour. The weekly Mystery Shopper is tasked to probe staff on speed, smiles, eye contact, chit chat. Staff have to serve within 1 minute to get as much customer flow = £££ through the shops. If even just ONE staff member fails on any of the tasks they’re tested on they risk losing bonus for the WHOLE team and then get fear managed. I explain on YouTube WHY this is a problem, especially for health and safety of staff’s mental health and customers lives.
Smile for the “Misery” Shopper:
November 2019 – SEVEN mice where counted running around. And if nothing is done they multiple fast!
Photo via The Mirror / video by David Nassim on Mirror.co.uk
This video where the mice run around openly because the shop is closed, but the shop where the mice strolled along under the coffee counter during busy coffee rush, it looked like this, just that the mice where more walking along the wall, not through the middle of the shop between customers:
(Forgive the language in the video…no I don’t mean the F & Sh word, I mean how he pronounces “Pret A Manger”! 😀 )
Here’s a rat in a Soho branch recently again, after another customer already posted a video of a mouse in a Soho branch in August 2019.
A video Tweet of a RAT via the Daily Mail in September 2019
Video Tweet ALSO of a Soho branch of a MOUSE in August 2019
Video of a MOUSE in Veggie Pret London
2 videos of a MICE infested Pret shop in New York. I love the commentator: “Pret A Manger, Good, Natural Mice”!
St. Pancras station, a customer sighted a MOUSE.
19. September 2019
Link to Tweet St. Martin’s Lane, off Leicester Square area 18. Sep. 2019
And many other Tweets but without videos/photos. Of course the problem is much bigger.
Pret didn’t do ANYTHING even after TWO customers died until it became public! You are kidding yourselves if you think they really proactively tackle pest issues, even now. The CEO Clive Schlee sneaks out the back door but remains as a non-executive director in the background! Getting away with customer deaths, injuries, ignored warnings, staff suicides not investigated yet……
Former CEO Clive Schlee’s legacy:
Current CEO Pano Christou
Extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.
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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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