Pret A Manger’s VAGUE Payrise Numbers



Pret emphasise BARISTA wages, even though hourly paid Team Leaders are above Barista’s position and pay, and that’s simply BECAUSE many staff and especially Baristas have quit Pret.

And ESPECIALLY after the smoothie/frappe lies Pret gave for years resulting in the BBC reporting on it .

Pret NEED Baristas since many shops open later and close earlier due to even more lack of staff since the coffee subscription mess. Therefore Pret emphasise THAT particular payrise to the press, despite Team Leader being a position AND pay above Baristas. Only VERY few Baristas will get that “up” to pay, who work at airports and made friends with management.

Pret depend on Baristas to get many and FAST coffees out because coffee is the BIGGEST profit margin and Pret keep pushing the coffee subscription that had many staff quit! A latte for customers means £3.50+, but for Pret means around £40p including cup, lid, milk, water, Barista wages etc.

A Pret staff also made a comment on it:



So, Pret will be delighted to find that social media is on fire with people appalled that Pret staff (supposedly) will earn more than junior doctors, and so getting much needed publicity after all the bad press. Pret very cleverly again use terminology and keep information vague. Quoting the UP TO £14.10 “depending on experience and location”.

Pret via the media announced a payrise in March 2023 for April 2023, but fail to mention WHY they raise wages. The UK government will raise the minimum wage to £10.40 in April, and Pret would be in breach if they don’t raise the basic pay as it is below £10.40 currently (March 2023).

A Pret worker will start at £10.60 in April. Pret always pay 20p more than the minimum wage to appear generous. But this is because work at Pret is so exhausting, staff work for three people, even before the pandemic. But now it’s much much worse, and many staff have quit. The current pay bands until end of March 2023 can be seen below.

Pret say that depending on experience and location, that Baristas can earn up to £14.10 per hour, but again keeping it nice and vague. Pret don’t mention that this is for including the £1.25 bonus which is NOT contractual. And the “up to” pays incl. bonus is at airports and busy railway stations like Waterloo, King’s Cross etc. where the pay for staff and food costs for customers are higher. And airports are even WORSE busy than regular shops! And it’s “up to” £14.10! Mostly it’s less than that for most Baristas.

“Barista pay is slightly higher and will increase from between £10.85 and £12.50 an hour to between £11.20 and £12.85. Pay rates depend on location and experience.” Source:

So, the £14.10 INCLUDES the £1.25 Mystery Shopper bonus which is NOT contractual and therefore not guaranteed (many shopsrarely get the extra £1.25 bonus per hour). It can be refused to be rewarded by weekly Mystery Shoppers (see Mystery Shopper reports on what’s demanded from staff), but also by Managers for ANY silly reason. The bonus system as psychology is abused and used to keep workers on their toes.

Hardly any Barista will get the £12.85, let alone the added £1.25 = £14.10 per hour. Most start and REMAIN on the lowest of £11.20 and don’t always get the £1.25 bonus.

Also, Pret shop General Managers who have to cover Team Members (lowest position) to save money and work overtime without extra pay, say that at times Team Members are paid more than GMs.

A recent GM review:



And a staff who is HOMELESS and has to couch surf while Pret do their PR stunts “helping” homeless people and collecting donations (for tax breaks and brownie points with the public):



And a staff who’s claiming Universal Credit. I had a staff contact me saying they receive housing benefit. That’s Pret reality for you:


I suggest again like I do all the time, that an undercover journalist goes into Pret or at least that journalists wait a few months until AFTER April 2023 when wages across companies are raised, and ASK Pret Baristas from different shops if they get the “up to” £14.10 incl. bonus. I guarntee you, most will laugh you out of the shop!

And Pret here emphasise on Barista pay while Team Leader pay and position higher than Barista. That means Pret are DESPERATE for Baristas as many have left.

Plus, all staff, and especially management work many more hours overtime unpaid. So, if breaking down the pay, it is less than all the pay bands mentioned in below’s chart. Staff are manipulated to work overtime without pay and managers are pressured to CUT labour and then stay longer unpaid. Win-win for Pret execs and shareholders on the backs of shop workers AND managers.

And shops on average have 1 – 3 or 4 assistant managers (kitchen and shop floor) while having anything between 15 – 50+ staff depending on how big and busy/long opening hours the shop is, like an airport or trainstation. So, this “up to” £14.10 is just for a small handful of Baristas, most who’ll be friends with management.

A Barista gets a little over £11 in April 2023 AFTER being a lesser paid team member for god knows how long. You never start as a Barista in Pret, but always as a Team Member. Only Managers who come from other company brands start as ASSISTANT Managers in Pret before then being promoted to Managers again (like it was with current CEO Pano Christou). Any other role in shops start at the bottom on Team Member level with the pay you will see in below chart.

And all the pay bands will mostly be kept at the LOWEST rate for most, except for those who make friends with management, including via the bed room. Sad but true. Please see a recent staff review on this.

And whatever pay anyone gets, they will stay on that pay for many, many years and work for three people. Pret sucks the life-blood out of staff and fool the public.

In my Pret CEO Pano Christou’s Rags to Riches post I go through the various shop positions. Pano Christou loves to tell the press that he “started in shops”, which is true, but he often fails to mention that he started as an assistant manager with more pay, perks, benefits, more holiday, more bonus, sick pay from day 1 (that’s a big one!) etc. etc.

I explain in detail many of the benefits he received from day 1 starting in Pret compared to what a Team Member gets. In brief, the main SHOP positions are very hierarchical. You NEVER jump the line to Barista. Workers start at:

#1 – Team Member

#2 – Barista or Hot Chef (shop floor) or Team Member Trainer (kitchen)

#3 – Team Leader (kitchen or shop floor as both are run by separate Team Leaders)

#4 And THEN Assistant Manager shop OR kitchen. Pano started from day one as AM after coming from McDonald’s where he was a Manager. ONLY Managers from other companies fast track, or rather for them, back track to Assistant Manager position with lots of perks.

Pano just likes to portray to the public that he started at the “bottom”. Typical Pret psychological wordings, knowing the public always ASSUMES things. “Starting in shops” can mean anything! But most assume it means he started as a low-wage Team Member. Nopes.

I worked at Pret when Pano was UK Managing Director, and I was never impressed with him. In my experience, he’s not a leader. He doesn’t come up with any significant changes, he was just the shadow of his mentor, former CEO Clive Schlee, like a clone speaking the same psychological slogans. And even in staff reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed and on social media staff keep mentioning that he’s detached, despite visitng shops to let his boss hang out. In my impression of him, he has his head in the sand and just caters to Pret’s owners, 2. richest family in Germany, the Reimanns under in taxhaven Luxembourg based JAB Holdings, and he wants to build a legacy of speed-opening shops worldwide, while many existing shops are in shambles.

#5 – Genral Manager overlooking both shop and kitchen

And then if they move further up, they’ll go outside shops to become Group, then OPs/Operations (area) Managers. Group Managers get their feet wet by being placed in an area of about 4 – 5 shops before moving on to become OPs where they then look after an area of about 10 – 14 shops.

But let’s go further if we do compare government wages to private equity wages. CEO Pano Christou got £300K in 2020, £400K in 2021 during the pandemic when profits were down and after he cut wages, benefits, bonus and paid breaks of the lowest paid staff. And I’m sure he’s getting another £100K now in 2023. PLUS £4million in bonus in 2021 and counting in the years to follow.

UK Prime Minister Richi Sunak gets £165K, and let’s just forget for a moment that this is just like a waitress tip in coppers for this multi-billionaire. But Pret’s CEO gets more than double in annual wage than Sunak, PLUS millions in bonus.

USA President Biden also gets less than Pret’s CEO, just a fraction less in annual pay. Do your own research.

I took the liberty to change the BMA ad in honour of low-wage Pret Staff who are tossed around like a football by Pret, the government, and now NHS Unions and Staff:



And this corrupt Tory government are WORTH the likes of Pret. You know why? Because they deserve every mouldy sandwich they can buy.

Now, here’s the current pay rate for Pret shop staff until April 2023 for each position. And as you can see, you won’t find assistant managers on the chart. 😉

Pret just spin the numbers very vaguely, not mentioning the discretionary bonus, and the public falls for it!

I screenshot this table on 13.03.2023 off Pret’s website where it’s linked to via a pdf link:


Link to table.

So, workers, as in Team Members will start 20p higher than the minimum wage from April on. And that’s for staff over 22 years old, mind you. And a Team Leader is really like a mini manager doing all the work, running shops and getting all the blame. I was a Team Leader, I know how excrutiating it is for such a low pay.

Also, Pret made cuts to staff IMMEDIATELY before first lockdown in March 2020 WHILE giving freebies to NHS workers. And later Pret proceeded to cut wages, benefits, bonus, paid breaks etc. Pret workers are still worse off than before. This payrise is due to the minimum wage being raised, and is a complete joke and PR stunt.

And most fall for it using low-wage Pret workers as examples to boost support for NHS staff. I completely agree that doctors, nurses etc. should get way more pay, but don’t use Pret staff and the MISLEADING “up to” £14.10 pay which includes the discretionary (not mandatory) £1.25 bonus to make a point, while you don’t do your research properly and fall for Pret’s vague wording where Pret leave YOU to assume the pay is for baristas.

Use the government’s CORRUPT dealings to prove your point! And stop falling for Pret’s bullshit!

Doctors, nurses and unions should point their fingers UP to the government that always say they can’t afford to pay what doctors/nurses and unions ask for. Yet, the government comes up with multi billions for dodgy stuff. THAT’S where doctors and nurses should raise their voices, and not the lazy way to point downwards to fastfood workers. What a shame!

Use the Billions the government came up with for the track & trace scheme that failed.

Use the £140 million they already paid and the annual £1.5 Billion to send traumatised refugees to Rwanda, a country with human rights issues.

Use the millions upon millions upon millions of pounds for dodgy contracts by many Tory politicians for their families and friends.

Use the wall paper money Boris Johnson spent.

Take your pick! The list can go on and on and on. But no, let’s use low-wage Pret workers. That’s LAZY activism! And it’s also misleading and deeply dissappointing that educated people don’t fact check Pret’s pay for various roles but just fall for Pret’s clever and vague wording.

Point to this corrupt government that use tax payers’ money to spend it on themselves instead of the people and workers across the board. The government AND Pret LOVE it when workers in all fields and skills pick on each other for the crumbs these millionaires throw at them.

Last year Pret TWICE delayed paying staff under dodgy excuses. The second pay delay strategically using the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend, knowing the public would be distracted should the press become wind of it, which it did as I was contacted by Pret staff and passed it on to The Guardian. AND on Monday banks are closed while Pret promised that staff can get pay on THAT bank holiday Monday.

I was contacted by desperate staff and emailed CEO Pano Christou and openly copying in Sarah Butler from The Guardian, who then reported on it. But because it was the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, hardly anyone noticed the news. Pret being clever again.

Later The Guardian then also reported that the CEO got almost £4million in bonus and a 27% payrise in 2021 AFTER he cut wages, benefits, bonus etc.

That’s Pret A Manger for you!

Junior Doctors do NOT earn less than Pret baristas! Do some FACT checking and research, and stop using the bottom most rung like Pret and everyone else already do!

The DM I received and passed on to The Guardian:





I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying (in which Manny Matern was part of) 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.

NEW: Podcast.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present:




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