Pret A Manger: We are deeply saddened by the passing of Celia Marsh

Pret A Manger: “We are deeply saddened…”

So much so that we printed a label within ONE day of Natasha’s and Celia’s deaths.

One day!

NOT!

That’s how fast we can do things! In fact, we anticipated our customers deaths that we had labels ready to go once they died.

We are deeply saddened by the passing of 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.

We are deeply saddened by the death of 42 year old mother of 5 Celia Marsh.

We are deeply saddened by the allergen injury of Isobel Colnaghi in 2017, also from unlabelled sesame in the UK who also almost died, who lost in court against us in 2021 because we successfully blamed one of our low-wage worker.

We are deeply saddened of the injury of David Matt in 2015 in New York, also from unabelled sesame, who lost in court against us in 2016 before Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died. We are deeply relieved that sesame wasn’t part of the USA allergen list compared to Canada.

We are deeply saddened by all the other allergen injuries, 21 reported that we were made aware of, before Natasha died, which we all ignored.

We are deeply relieved that former Pret CEO Clive Schlee’s open letter response to a concerned allergy sufferer is buried from the public’s eye (but don’t tell anyone that it’s on this blog).

We are deeply relieved that the UK justice system and the media are on our side.

And we are deeply able to label packaging WITHIN A DAY when a higher-up person like the Queen dies.

We’re deeply able to do that.

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The press, the justice system, and survivors keep ignoring what I expose about Pret’s negligence because I am a traumatised person having survived Pret’s systemic bullying culture. People don’t want to listen to current and former low-wage workers if they are traumatised. I am traumatised after what I survived (audio player interview at the bottom of this page).

But I keep talking and writing. And I keep saying that people will not be able to say that they never knew how bad Pret is.

I explain in detail in 4 podcast episodes how Pret were and continue to be careless with food safety, including selling moudly food increasingly. And no-one pays attention, not even the Food Standards Agency that I tagged in many times.

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For a full visual of mould and rat droppings on Pret food as well as on the ongoing mislabelling I explain in my podcast, please see pictures. These are visuals of what explain on the podcast on WHY this keeps happening:

Stale, expired, mouldy food. Pret food is NOT “freshly made”. That’s false advertising AND dangerous.

Mislabelled food and mistaken ingredients. Vegans and vegetarians eat meat at Pret. And Pret are now breaking the law, “Natasha’s Law”.

Food poisoning, hygiene issues and now also labelling issues can be reported on the government Food Standard Agency website.

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Link to report.

PODCAST:

I’m not a professional podcaster or journalist, I just speak from my gut and from memory having worked at Pret for 10 years in over 30 shops, with horrible experiences of the top leadership including CEO, HR, HQ staff and management. I have tons of evidence, including paperwork from Pret themselves. I declined Pret’s hush money and never signed the NDAs they wanted me to sign.

Podcast episodes:

Part 01 of ongoing mislabelling and why staff accidentally take wrong ingredients and mislabel.

One example from even last year, 5 years after Natasha died and 4 years after Celia Marsh died. I explain how Pret work behind the scenes and why it is SO EASY to mistake ingredients:

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It’s profit over lives by under-staffing and pushing low-wage workers to the brim. Pret only cater to the strict weekly mystery shoppers, the emotional labour scheme that Pret implemented many years ago to portray a “happy” facade while ignoring food safety issues. Lack of food safety has gotten much worse, despite customers having died. Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be Fatal.

Part 02 I highlight a weird Barbican seminar and the difference between Starbucks CEO’s and Pret CEO’s handling of crisis.

Part 03 Allergy Trial of Isobel Colnaghi in 2021, and how Pret was cleared after successfully blaming Roberto Rodriguez, a low-wage worker. I also explain how training is done in Pret, or rather how it’s NOT done and the dodgy things shops do.

Part 04 In light of the inquest into Celia Marsh’s death and how Pret had TWO types of labelling in place before customer deaths became public, BUT not the labelling that you’d expect from a multi-billion £ multinational company.

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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 witnessed by customers: 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 which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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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.

Pret A Manger CEO Payrise & Millions in Bonus After CUTTING staff pay

Two podcast episodes on my “forecast” in April that Pret’s CEO Pano Christou most likely either got the same pay from 2020 (£300K) or higher, plus the millions in bonus. And today’s episode after yesterday’s Guardian article.

The CEO didn’t spill the beans in April’s Times article what he got paid in 2021 and what he will get in 2022 because if he got the same or less, he would have announced it like Pret always announce their “charity” quickly. He only shared what his pay was in 2020.

Yesterday the news emerged that Pano Christou got a 27% payrise (£400K) and £4.2 million in bonus after cutting low-wage staff’s pay, benefits, paid breaks and other perks.

And before any office worker complains that you don’t get paid breaks, well, work for 8, 10, 12+ hours in excruciating heat, noise, stress, rude customers, mystery shopper fear management, bullying managers etc. and then we can talk again. Until then, keep sitting on your butt and browse through Linkedin.

Today’s podcast episode (may have to click on link underneath if WordPress refuses to post the player here):

Link

And on Pret’s Wage Theft, please click here.

My April 2022 podcast episode predicting that Pano either got the same or higher pay after cutting staff wages:

Link

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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 witnessed by customers: 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 which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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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.

Pret A Manger’s “Propaganda”?

Let me explain.

Following Pret issues I keep seeing confusing information and mixed messages regarding Pret’s sales and profits. One week Pret’s sales are down, next week sales are 80% pre-Pandemic levels, next week Pret is close to ruin due to having to repay loans by the summer 2022, then profits up again … In the USA there are lawsuits in the millions for upaid rents.

Knowing Pret and their top leadership CEO Pano Christou, HQ staff, the HR department, OPs (area) managers, shop management etc. while claiming to be doing “the right thing naturally”, Pret’s way is to cheat, steal, borrow and scam customers and staff.

Pano Christou is under pressure to speed open shops. Pret received close to half a billion pounds, yes billion, from tax-haven Luxembourg based owners JAB Holdings (Germany’s 2. richest family, the Reimanns with an extensive Nazi slavery past) and shareholders. Pret received this money with the task to open 200 shops worldwide in the next 2 years. This is a huge and unrealistic task.

I remember when private equity firm Bridgepoint took over in 2008 and tasked Pret to open at least 15 shops per year. Me and my colleagues felt the squeeze. And now with JAB it’s even worse.

India’s richest business man has hooked up with Pret to open shops in India. I feel sorry and worried for workers AND customers in India, especially since Pret has a very poor track record on food safety and customer care, despite their “happy” and generous facade.

JAB and shareholders are like the Mafia, they want their money back. These private equity firms pass companies like Pret from hand to hand like drug dealers do with drugs and money laundry. Makes me almost feel sorry for Pano Christou who is squeezed in-between like a middle man and lower ranked drug dealer appeasing the big lords.

But the price is paid by the very bottom, the “addicts”, those who need jobs and sell their labour cheap to the overlords because they don’t know that they can beat the “addiction” when they get help and organise.

I’ve seen interviews of Pano Christou in India and other places lately, and he does NOT look relaxed. He looks tense, nervous, keeps sniffing as if he had a cold or is snorting cocaine. Not alleging that he does, but his nervous sniffing is unusual for him. I know of former OPs managers and HQ staff who took drugs in the toilets in head office.

I had to wipe cocaine traces off toilet hand dryers in Pret shops where mainly business people frequent. Again, I’m not alleging Pano is taking drugs, but I am calling Pret out again and again for scamming customers, stealing and borrowing from staff, selling expired, mouldy food even after having ignored TWO customer deaths and over a dozen injuries before this got public. THAT is what I can say for sure! I link to the reasons and evidence further below.

The media is helping Pret’s “propaganda” by saying sales are up, profits are soaring again, and I have a sense this is to attract potential investors.

Pano must be under pressure from JAB and shareholders to produce numbers. Hence, Pret delayed paying staff TWICE this year under dodgy excuses, the 2. excuse was “payroll error”.

Pano seems to be doing the EXACT thing that all shop managers do. Shop managers tweak numbers, cheat, extend expiry dates to save on food waste to boost their bonus and please their OPs managers. Pano has to produce and reach targets for his bosses JAB Holdings.

And since Pret’s been making profit again, they could and should raise wages, reinstate the benefits and paid breaks they cut. But of course no, they continue to cut in anyway they can including stopping complimentary items like butter portions for soup bread, seeds for porridge, sweetener, downsized the complimentary honey portions etc. etc.

These cuts are okay for me, what is NOT okay is borrowing from low-wage staff like workers are a bank to loan from without interest! Wage theft is also huge in Pret.

Here are just some of the mixed messages and “propaganda” Pret and the media throw out there:

04. July 2022

Link

Also 04. July 2022

I can’t believe Pano Christou getting involved, wanting the rail strikes to end so HE can make money! I have no words for this company!

Link

So, trading slumped down to 62% “because” of the train strike, let’s just blame workers again. Yet, on this same day news say that Pret’s sales are UP.

Can they make up their minds, or is this truly “propaganda” to get investors and customers in?

Pano Christou is SO detached and deranged, he doesn’t care one bit about workers. He even had the audacity AFTER he cut wages, making “temporary” pay cuts permanent to ASK his low-wage staff to donate to his “charity” half-marathon. Pano has NO shame whatsoever. His greed, or maybe it truly is desperation is amazing! I gave Pano a nickname, “Panoccio”! 🤥

-> Pret’s “charity” projects.

It also reminds me of Pret RE-founder and itsu founder Julian Metcalfe who didn’t want a 2. lockdown willing to sacrifice “a few thousand very old and vulnerable people”. I chased him off Twitter and was later informed that he is in Jeffrey Epstein’s address book:

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Pret and itsu are thick as thieves and ice cold business people hurting people with a smile.

30. June 2022

Link

Februrary 2022

From the Daily Telegraph, quote:

»Pret a Manger has fired a fresh warning shot over its future as it races to delay debt repayments following two years of lockdown turmoil.

Company filings for the coffee chain’s owner, Pret a Manger Ltd, said it was attempting to buy more time to repay its loans.

It has until June to pay back £66.7m in loans, after having already extended that facility. A separate £605m loan facility is due to expire the following summer

Link

Link

This news to me seemed to have served to panic customers to flock to Pret for support. No more news on this since then. So, Pret either seemed to have repaid the £66 million and still has to repay £605m by the summer 2023.

And here’s what Pret’s been doing to reach targets:

BBC: Pret customers complain over drinks subscription deal

Ongoing complaints on the coffee subscription, apps, deals etc.

Claiming to have suppLIEr issues and technical faults preventing customers to get special offers and certain expensive and complimentary products.

The worst for me is delaying to pay their front-line, lowest paid staff TWICE this year and the ongoing wage theft.

And no, don’t make it too easy on yourself by saying staff can just look for another job. It’s not that simple when you have no money, a family to support, maybe even debt. Pret wear out their workers on purpose so they can’t think straight and have the strength to stand up or look for better jobs.

But customers can EASILY shop elsewhere and CHOOSE EASILY to support small independent businesses.

But no, most customers are as greedy as Pret by wanting freebies, a cheap coffee subscription and are willing to wait 10 – 15 minutes now while giving the few staff that are left a hard time for being “slow”!

So HOW can Pret be making pre-Pandemic 80% plus profits again while being understaffed, long queues, many customers boycott or completely abandon Pret.

Is it “propaganda” again to draw new investors while Pret is struggling in reality?

Many large companies underpay workers and are into wage theft. But for Pret to delay pay twice this year by getting bolder and bolder in broad daylight, shows desperation to me.

The uo and down, back and forth messages of soaring sales, then being close to bankruptcy is such a typical communication mess from Pret.

One employee review from New York from a purchasing director give some insights into Pret’s leadership. A purchasing director is closer to Pret leadership than shop staff. And I can underline this having had my traumatic experiences with Pret’s leadership ncluding former CEO Clive Schlee, Pano Christou, the HR department and some HQ staff.

Quote: »One of the oddest work experiences. Worked their during a transition period – so company going in one direction and then the opposite.«

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Just a few more from the USA and from London’s head office staff:

Link

Link

Link

Next, part quote:

»The kitchen staff is treated like slaves. They are expected to do the impossible. The upper management is a bunch of heartless, evil British monsters that take credit for all the positives and assign blame for all the negatives. … Advise to management: Quit your jobs and go back to England and stay there.«

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Link

»Spoiled, selfish upper management has ruined it for the rest. … upper management thinks they are better than everyone else. They spend (waste) lots of money on dinners for themselves and “leadership conferences” that are really just excuses to party in Orlando or Vegas. “Business” trips to Boston and Chicago are really expensed vacations for their families. The Brits have taken over NYC. Pret has brought over many managers and leaders form the UK and ‘beheaded’ many of the US employees who built the brand to make room for them.
Advice to Management: get over yourselves.«

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Link

A recent review of many along those lines, partial quote:

»harassing higher management from group and ops manager above. Unhealthy to both mental and physical health. … Group manager shaming for being sick. … Wages regularly not paid on time. … Safety standards for teams lack luster [causing] high risk of injury. …
Advise to management: Replace Pano with someone competent

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Link

I could go on and on and on, but to wrap it up, here some words from people in Ireland and Spain regarding Pret opening in those countries:

Spain’s and Ireland’s “welcome” message to Pret and below, “The Pret A Manger Anthem”.

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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 witnessed by customers: 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 which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Pret A Manger are the MOST EVIL People I have ever come across

I keep writing horrible emails to friends, foes, Pret, the press, and I’m sure Pret are happy to see me suffer. I’m sure they’d be glad if I’d kill myself. This company has destroyed my life and the lives of so many others with a big fat fake smile. And they continue to do so.

After I raised issues with shop management and HR for almost a year, being ignored and further bullied, I contacted the then CEO Clive Schlee who then started some support, like Pret paying for counseling. But that was as a show in case for court, and the bullying continued. All the “support” Pret showed after I put my complaint in writing to the former CEO, was to show for court. As the bullying continued, I was offered money if I resign, never go to court, and never speak about my ordeal with Pret. I declined and indirectly forced Pret to fire me.

I tried to resign, tried to find another job, but I couldn’t sell myself, even in a low-paid job. I was too broken down, insecure, hopeless to find even the lowest paid work. If I would have found a job, I would have resigned. Even without signing an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) taking “hush-money”, if I would have just resigned without signing my rights away, I could have NEVER written this blog.

Pret would have made a public statement like they did with Andrej Stopa who was fired for having started a Union. Pret would have said that they were happy with me as an employee, that they offered me help, but that I willingly chose to leave. Pret HAD TO fire me so that I can speak out. I didn’t realise this at the time. I even BEGGED in the last dismissal hearing to not fire me, my dad was just out of a three-week coma in Germany.

Even before any option of a dismissal came up I asked Pret if I can be put under the Pret Foundation, even an OPs manager later suggested I go under the PF for a while. But that never happened. Pret who claim to help homeless people, young apprentices and prison leavers have no room for long-term employees who go through tragedy. That’s why this Pret Foundation is just a PR machine and a smokescreen to hide horrible practices. I literally begged the hearing manager to not fire me! They did anyway, unknowingly forcing me to speak out publicly.

I have had to watch my parents, each on their own, deteriorate in a horrible institutional system in hospitals, rehab, nursing homes that are mostly chains under private equity. I had to struggle with everything on my own, and when help was offered, it either rarely came or it was not meant or just as a polite gesture. Or when help is offered, there is sometimes an ulterior motive and I have to figure out who means what. Or when I asked for help, I was met with a deafening silence or the words “I’m too busy”.

Or when the help is genuine, I can’t trust it, because of what Pret did to me via so many issues and people, and most vile, via Lila Tighilt Warren who claimed to have had a brother who died alone in his apartment, wasn’t found for days, like my brother was. I researched and searched if this brother existed, but found another person not the same as she described. This very horrific act Pret and Lila did, destroyed my trust in people.

The press are bystanders, watching. And what they use from my blog, experience and research, they make sure not to mention me and my ordeal. And those who wanted to report, I pushed away in my paranoia.

There ARE good people, but I can’t distinguish anymore the sheep from the wolves. And GOOD people are suffering my mistrust and outbursts because of this horrible company! No, it is I who bears responsibility for my words, writings and actions. But it takes evil people to destroy lives.

I have made the mistake to stay in Pret for 10 years, bearing under a toxic, dishonest, corrupt environment, where all that counts is making as much money and more and more and more.

And when someone asks why I don’t go to court, I did, but then withdrew when my dad died and I couldn’t afford legal aid. I have researched the British legal system of workplace related lawsuits while I filed a tribunal claim. I have read that even when former employees win their tribunal cases, the pay-out is so small, they end up in debt for the legal bill.

Pret and companies like Pret know that. They KNOW people can’t afford legal aid. They know that even pro-bono lawyers don’t want to pick up a fight in a 5-day trial for their 30% of an £8,000 payout. Too much effort for too little reward. Unlike in the USA (see Johnny Depp’s lawsuit in the UK vs the USA). Different systems.

A Cardiff bar manager choked by colleague wins tribunal. She was left paralysed in her face and won a meager £6,660 but had an £8,000+ legal bill, leaving her in debt. In the USA she would have won a 6-digits figure if not millions!

A former Pret assistant manager who got unfairly dismissed won his tribunal case getting rewarded about £8,812. Worker unfairly dismissed, says tribunal. After he lost his job, having a young child with his partner, he ended up on the streets living in his car for 2 weeks. For the tribunal it was worth a merge £8¾K. All this money probably went straight into his legal bill. Not to mention the mental strain people go through in a legal case against a large company.

When my dad died, leading me to withdraw the tribunal claim, I knew mentally it would lead to suicide going through the 5 day court hearings, even if I’d won. One day preliminary hearing, and 4 days court hearings, as the dates were already set having had 6 months to prepare with my dad in hospital, flying back and forth. I was told by free legal advice at Citizen Advice Bureau that there may be a 6th day with a second preliminary hearing as my case was so complex, having involved the top Pret leadership team. Even though I had strong evidence and Pret already hinted in their response to court that “if [I] win the case … that the reward should be low” according to some other lawsuit outcome that has set the precedent for lawsuits thereafter. But I had no support, no financial backing, no moral support and a new funeral coming up …

And before anyone says that I need therapy, first of all I have fought for therapy since over five years; 2. I have therapy now but cannot talk as there is a strict agenda to follow a rigorous program. So, please first ASK what people have had in support and therapy before giving unsolicited, patronizing advise.

In this life and society, most everywhere, it is all about money, position, what each individual can get out of whatever they can get from those already at the edge. If you are sick, disabled, bereaved, old … there is no place for you in a society that is looking for “productivity” more than those who produce. You are a disposable machine, a piece of garbage that is of no use anymore, sucked out of the life-blood by greedy corporates and anyone lacking basic human decency. The strong must become stronger and leave the vulnerable behind, as they can’t contribute to this cog-wheel of a society at a given time or forever. Survival of the fittest by the book. A repeated issue throughout time. Human nature at its worst that always becomes the norm with a new generation, until a new “uprising” and new precedent of disobedience …

Yes, I sound gloomy, but I suffer and fought hard to not only survive. I see the dark during a sunny day. And I’m sorry I am not what you thought or hoped for. Pret win again, hey.

I need people to stay away because I have nothing to offer you and I feel I won’t get better. I write horrible when drunk and hope everyone knows it is not personal, but you need to stay away.

And I will never stop saying that Pret A Manger, up to this current leadership in 2022, the same PEOPLE in head office that run the place since decades, this a core group of the top leadership and HR, are the most evil, toxic, greedy, exploitative, dishonest, incapable, unsympathetic, unethical, cowardly people I have ever had the nightmare to be dealing with.

And I remain deeply ashamed to have spent so long there and to have had any association with them.

And to friends, I don’t know what “friendship” is. It’s a myth.

Recent, select customer comments and staff reviews from Glassdoor, Indeed, Twitter etc.

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The following to me sounds like wage theft again. Highlighted, quote:

“- Did not receive 80% of wages despite being on the furlough scheme

– All your hard work was over in a 2 minute zoom call – If you need a second job to support you, better clear it with your overlords. I know this is a standard practice but it shouldn’t be – if you want your workers to devote so many of hours of their lives to you, pay them decently so they can do more than just about afford to live

Unless you work in their offices, they do not give a s*** about you. Also the CEO doing company wide zoom meetings from the comfort of his very fancy house whilst retail workers are paid peanuts, talking about how we all need to pitch in to save the business is a joke.

Retail workers are the entire reason Pret is still standing. Those in office tend to forget that without retail staff upselling, being on the floor and handling customers, they wouldn’t have anything to sell.

I would love to know what the CEOs salary is in relation to the lowest paid retail employees an whether this has increased or changed during the pandemic – and the justification for leaving those who work their hardest at the bottom of the Pret ‘family’ foodchain on wages that do not meet the stanard of living, are not entitled to many benefits” End of quote.

Answer to the question how much CEO Pano CHristou earns? In 2020 = £300,000 PLUS millions in bonus. He does not reveal how much he made in 2021 and 2022. If he also cut is pay, he would make that public. The silence is a hint that he remains on £300K and probably more.

Pano loves to present himself as the “cabbie’s son” who started at the shop floor. But until recently, since I called him out on it, failed to mention that he started at position number 4 as an Assistant Manager because he was a manager at McDonald’s. He didn’t start as a low paid team member having to wear uniform, and in those days a silly cap, that increased the body heat in stuffy hot shops and kitchens. Pano received £500 to buy business attire; £50 every month for dry cleaning; insurance; paid sick leave from day one (that’s a big one!) compared to team members who are paid from day 3 being sick with a sick note. His quarterly bonus went into the thousands. And all the other perks, travel, fancy galas for management and so on.

Link

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Part quote: “It was just so depressing that I had to work there and thankfully don’t need to anymore. They need to consider what they do to the staff and force them to work it’s just not a good way to sort and they know that. A lot of workers are mistreated and insulted daily. The management is a huge part of that.”

Link

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Upon my question to above Instagram person who’s staff, if it’s true that Pret for the SECOND time recently didn’t pay staff on time, the answer was, quote: “That is correct, however the delay was much less noticeable as it was late by 1 day only.”

This staff doesn’t realize that even though it wasn’t that noticeable for staff, it’s still 1. unacceptable and 2. a huge deal because Pret’s work week starts Fridays and staff are paid on Thursdays. This means the “less noticeable” for staff is a big deal for Pret as their new financial week starts Fridays. They most likely had issues with shareholders wanting to present better numbers, and then “pay back” the next day starting on Friday’s new financial week.

Pret use and abuse the goodwill of workers. And this has always been the case with shop managers, they ALWAYS for years and years, every week “forgot” to pay an hour here, an hour there. Do this with a handful of shop staff every week and it all adds up, as many don’t check their hours, not noticing the “odd” hour here and there not being paid.

And Pano Christou now does THE SAME company-wide. Stealing in broad daylight, “borrowing” from the lowest paid to appease shareholders. Mafia-style in a nutshell. Pret use low-wage workers as a loan-bank. Absolutely despicable, unethical and disrespectful. And I hope financial auditors and the government get wind of this.

Link and Link

And there is no strength or courage to join a union and stand up. And Pret know that and wear the staff out so they don’t have an ounce of strength left to even entertain the thought to fight back.

Link

etc. etc. etc.

Pano Christou’s “approval” rating:

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And the legacy former CEO Clive Schlee left with:

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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.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Pret A Manger’s Mystery Shopper Scheme – AUDIO

I explain in detail about Pret’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme which I call “Misery” Shopper for a reason.

Pret’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme which I plainly call abusive:

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The Wiki link to my blog that was deleted, which I explain in above audio.

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I have run out of space/time on my free podcast and am shopping around which podcast provider is the best value before I purchase.

On the podcast I cover some other Pret issues, like the allergen situation, ongoing labelling problems etc. As I ran out of free space I post the above Mystery Shopper episode here on my blog. For Timothy Noah’s “The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger” and other articles on emotional labour, as well as several examples of Mystery Shopper reports, please see my page: The Dangers of Emotional Labour.

Thank you for listening.

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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.

expretcast Podcast

I started a podcast, but not in a professional way as I am new to this medium. I am not sure if I do more or regular episodes on issues, but I find it easier and important to voice a few things instead of writing long blog posts. I’ve written everything I could write about and feel to speak more than write, and some people don’t like to read long blog posts or for visual reasons cannot read.

I started with the subject of allergen, mislabelling, cross-contamination in Pret. I may continue on other subjects or these may be all I do, I don’t know yet. Thanks for reading/listening.

expretcast

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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.

Pret A Manger Staff are so “happy” they can’t contain themselves

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And CEO Pano Christou is completely detached, ignoring reality, portraying a “happy” company facade to the public via the press that happily play along.

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Glassdoor

A playlist of staff reviews; mystery shopper reports (why staff smile so much and give freebies in a highly stressful environment even when depressed and bereaved; customer complaints and boycotts; coffee subscription issues etc.:

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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.

.
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.

Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be FATAL

UPDATE 2022:

I want to add 2 things, the post underneath the line below I have converted on my Anchor.fm podcast to a voice version. It’s an automated voice, not perfect, but for those who don’t like to read long blog entries. I place the episode here as well.

And the other thing is I want to place my favourite tweet of recently after a customer responded to other customers outcry of Pret making temporary pay-cuts permanent. The below blog post/voice convertion is very important for people to understand Pret’s mentality and why it remains dangerous to eat there.

Link

The Tweet by @betty_de_brazil from 12. August 2021 reads, quote:
“A while back, I saw a Pret ad that said its staff were “passionate” about making sandwiches. This kind of bullshit talk always hides ruthless practices in my experience.” End of quote.

Unfortunately reading programs can’t read screenshots of Tweets or YouTube slides. I have to keep that in mind when doing new blog entries, to write out Tweets. I was also once told by a blind person on Twitter that their programs cannot read screenshots. So, below Twitter screenshots are not read by this automated voice conversion. Apologies to all with visual impairment, I’m learning as I go.

This episode is close to under 11 minutes long. At this time the French word “manger” isn’t pronounced the French way, but the American/English way of “Jesus in a manger”. For those who love to point out unimportant mistakes, get over it. Thanks.

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A few years ago I already dissected an article where Pret’s HR Director Andrea Wareham was interviewed. “Pret’s People Management Secrets” from HR Magazine. In this interview Andrea Wareham shares a lot about the typical Pret PR bla bla. But one sentence stands out to me which is typical Pret, but also dangerous.

Quote: »Pret famously recruits for behaviours, “personality rather than skills” as Wareham puts it, and these, she adds, are “relevant in every market”.«

When I worked at Pret it always astounded me how little many shop Managers knew of the job they were hired to do. Those staff members in lower positions who had more knowledge than some shop Managers due to experience and skill, were exploited and the Manager took credit for it.

It often bothered me how the “wrong” people got promoted and those who knew how to do the job where kept low.

In an unlisted video on YouTube (why unlisted?) new CEO Pano Christou even inadvertently gives away how poor the training in Pret is. He shares how when he did stock take for the first or second time, that he stayed until 4 o’clock the next morning! And that’s exactly how it is in Pret. The training is so poor and even Managers often are clueless that especially new staff have to stay long (unpaid!) hours to figure out how things work! Before I worked at Pret, I worked in many different food places, most of my life I worked in hospitality industry, in wine bars, restaurants, a canteen, a hotel. But never did I have to stay longer hours to figure out how things are done than in Pret! It was the most frustrating thing not being trained and not being given time to train others!

If people are trained and have skills, especially since Pano Christou was a Manager at McDonald’s before he joined Pret as an Assistant Manager, there would be NO NEED to stay until 4 o’clock the next morning to know how to do a stock take and other issues!

Pano should have known the job already, or at least picked it up quicker as he had previous Management experience. Unless he kissed his way up, like so many do. In Pret people also get promoted through the bedroom, and then more than few are incapable to do the job and rely on lower ranked staff to do all the hard work!

Pret is famous for their smiley staff, but since I write about it more extensively since 2018 it has become more common knowledge that this smiley culture is driven by weekly Mystery Shoppers. I wrote a few posts about it and made some YouTube slides as my blog is heavily censored on Facebook and Instagram where it is completely blocked. Even private messages are deleted automatically by algorithm when I link to my blog as Pret must have reported me, thus FB, Insta put me on a black list. But YouTube isn’t blocked.

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Journalist Timothy Noah wrote a brilliant article on Pret’s emotional labour (labor in US English) that Pret enforces low-wage employees to perform. “The enforced happiness of Pret A Manger“. I really recommend reading this article! And oh, how I remember the mental agony to have to smile, chat, present a happy facade, just to get a few more peanuts. And even during already traumatic bereavement I was expected to “leave my problems at home and wear a smile like I wear my uniform”! Real words of one of my Managers after we lost bonus for not smiling! Low-wage staff have to act like emotional prostitutes and acrobatic clowns to make Pret look good and as a happy place!

Noah wrote this article in 2013, a year after the first public “scandal” hit Pret when Andrej Stopa was fired for having started a trade union. Noah was one of the first, if not THE first journalist to take a closer look at Pret and write critical about the company when no-one dared to write critically. In fact, most journalists, even to this day write ecstatic positive articles about Pret.

Noah points out what former CEO Clive Schlee said about staff touching each other, quote: »”The first thing I look at,” Chief Executive Clive Schlee told The Telegraph last March, “is whether staff are touching each other . . . I can almost predict sales on body language alone.”«

Pret’s previous Mystery Shopper requirements even was that Pret aims to “attend to EACH customer’s NEEDS” … and aims to “connect with EVERY customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks”. The weekly Mystery Shopper is then tasked to comment on how low-wage staff smile etc. and give points accordingly.

Excerpts of the old Mystery Shopper reports before Pret changed the wording but kept the expectations via Managers:

Since I write extensively about Pret’s Mystery Shopper scheme which has surprised many customers who assumed that staff give freebies out of “random acts of kindness”, while in reality staff are almost guaranteed to receive the £100 reward when giving a freebie to the Mystery Shopper, or the MS at least witnessing this “generosity”!

And Clive Schlee to me served like the Ronald McDonald of Pret. He was the friendly clown that was approachable to customers and staff alike, while in reality putting a rigorous Mystery Shopper scheme in place and manipulating staff with brainwashing slogans, and expecting touch to portray a wholesome and happy company … all to increase sales.

And yet, we all wonder how on earth can TWO customers die in Pret, a third customer narrowly surviving and at least nine more injured due to unlabelled allergen in the food. Pret IGNORED the multiple warnings to label their food, even after customers have died and got injured, Pret kept smiling and went full steam ahead doing business as usual. Pret only started slowly to implement product labelling AFTER customer deaths became public! I worked at Pret when 2 customers died and we weren’t even informed of this. Not even a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling and allergen. Nothing! The emphasis was ALWAYS to drop every task, run on till, smile, serve customers fast and present a happy facade. Personality is more important in Pret than skill!

Link

If you don’t know what you’re doing and just “look” the part, but neglect life saving issues, you shouldn’t be hired or run a business! Smiling and having a bubbly personality is a plus, but without skills it’s useless for the health and safety of staff and customers alike! Clive Schlee, the Ronald McDonald of Pret has proven time and again how clueless he was:

Alicia Turrell deleted her Twitter account, so this link is gone. But to zoom in on what former CEO Clive Schlee responded to an open letter, shows how he lacked skills and knowledge on how to approach the lack of labelling that several customers pointed out, including a lawsuit BEFORE the first customer died.

Schlee’s patronizing, appalling and plain clueless response:

»Dear Alicia,
I am sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting to board my flight and I have been reading your discursive open letter to Pret. I must say you have a charming, self deprecating writing style and it was very gracious of you to mention so many good things about Pret. I am Pret’s CEO.
You also make your point about allergen information. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that. I think you are suggesting we treat allergens more seriously. Again, fair point. Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?
With best wishes
Clive«

I am not a fan of Wetherspoons or any food/drink chain at that, and at least their staff have started standing up with Unions. But I heard an interview of founder and CEO Tim Martin recently on Desert Island Discs from 2017. He said something that positively surprised me and maybe because pub business is a different animal from cafe/restaurant business in customer service to some extend, but he mentioned something on how staff present themselves.

Then presenter Kirsty Young asks Martin at around 26 minutes in the interview, quote: »And when you are chatting, as you are doing every week to managers and deputy managers and bar staff, do you ever say to them, “never ever say this to the customer?«

Martin replies: »No. And I also tell them, “you don’t have to smile either”.«

Kirsty Young: »You tell them they DON’T have to smile?«

Martin: »They don’t have to smile, no! We don’t go out of our way to tell them to be nice, because I think that puts too much pressure on people. I think when you go to a pub you get a beer, someone’s natural personality will emerge better if they are not under too much pressure, which of course they are under tremendous pressure anyway. Some of our best bar staff are quite grumpy

I cut out that part from the above program:

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Or in the closing words of Timothy Noah’s superb article on Pret’s emotional labour enforcement: »Now that I know Pret’s slender blonde doesn’t love me, I prefer the human contact at a D.C. lunch counter called C.F. Folks. The food is infinitely better. But I also like that the service is slower, the staff is older and grumpier, and the prevailing emotion is “Get over yourself.” Try touching someone at C.F. Folks, and you just might get slugged.«

Another brilliant article on emotional labour I have listed in “The Dangers of Emotional Labour” is by Sophie McBain “How Emotional Labour Harms us All“.

I say it again, recruiting for (fake or even true) cheerful personality rather than skill can be fatal!

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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.

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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, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.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, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

How Pret make Profit from the Coffee Subscription

Several customers, including a The Times journalist, have ask how Pret can make a profit from their “generous” subscription offer.

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Link

And another recent question on reddit:

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I explain in detail, click on the picture to read on reddit or on the link underneath:

Link

UPDATE June 2022

A customer cancelled her subscription in August 2021 and realized now that Pret continued to charge her, altogether £210. From all the complaints I’ve seen on social media, there have been several who were charged 3, 6+ months after cancellation, but this is the longest, almost 9 months. And not all customers complain publicly, only Pret know how many complain via email/DM or try to get through via phone where Pret customer service rarely picks up.

If people have enough or a lot of money in their bank account, it will take a long time to notice that the odd £20 goes missing every month, except if they check their accounts regularly like I do, as I have been overcharged on several occasions. Clever thieves who steal credit card details often don’t wipe the bank account out of all its funds, but they withdraw or make purchases of small amounts over a long period of time until the account holder realizes.

Same with Pret. Take a little here and there from MANY customers over a long period of time, that’s how they make profit. Pret should seriously get investigated by financial standard and trading standard bodies.

Link

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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.

The Pret A Manger Furnace

Customers continue to raise the issue of under-staffed shops with queues out the door. Exhausted staff who slave for minimum-wage while Pret made a big PR announcement to be raising pay to £10 (from April on) while having cut pay during the pandemic, cut benefits and paid breaks. Workers are worse off while Pret do their usual “charity” PR stunts again.

And before anyone compares and comes with the “argument” that you don’t get your breaks paid, try to work on your feet for 8, 10, 12+ hours straight every day under intense stress, noise, heat, tinnitus, angry leader, bullying manager, mystery shopper commenting that you didn’t smile, frustrated customers who complain that their coffee took 2 minutes etc. etc. etc. Try working in that environment, all while HAVING to smile or not get mystery shopper bonus. Staff should get their breaks paid again and more than a flipping living wage. I write extensively about Pret’s micromanaging, strict and plainly abusive mystery shopper scheme here: The Dangers of Emotional Labour.

Pret silenced a staff member’s strike announcement which rallied a lot of support from customers via the media. Let me rewind to 2020.

At the start of the pandemic, just before first lock-down, Pret did a nasty PR stunt again. Pret announced on 18. March 2020 to give free coffees and 50% rebate for NHS staff, which of course turned into a big media event with countless customers complimenting Pret on their “generosity” and ethical attitude. Well …

The very next morning on 19. March 2020 I received a desperate message from a staff member unbeknown to me, that CEO Pano Christou has sent an email to all shops early morning on 19. March to announce cuts to staff.

Pret used NHS staff for PR and as a smokescreen to hide cuts to staff. I was sent the CEO’s email by another staff member and published it here: Plea to NHS Employees.

In a nutshell, low-wage front-line Pret workers paid for the NHS freebies. Companies like Pret always take it from the lowest to do their marketing scheme for the public. I passed this on to the press immediately and went on a social media spree to inform as many NHS workers as I could find.

Only 1 NHS staff was outraged as far as I could find. I’m sure there are more. But most NHS workers loved the freebies, with nor care about Pret staff.

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Link

In the following months Pret fired 3000 staff, cut hours, cut pay, cut benefits and stopped paid breaks while executives worked safely from home or socially distanced in air conditioned head office. And they continued to received a juice bonus package. If not, Pret would have “proudly” announced that executive pay and bonuses were cut, as Pret is always FAST to make huge PR announcements.

The same with donating £50.000 to Ukraine which is peanuts for Pret. Many shops make £50K in two days, some even in one day! In contrast to that, former CEO Clive Schlee received £30 MILLION on bonus for himself alone. We can only speculate how much all the other executives and share holders pocket, even during the pandemic!

I explain WHY and WHEN Pret always make big “charity” announcements including the interesting timing of Pret’s £1000 announcements to all staff back in 2018: Pret’s Charity Projects.

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Link to Daily Mail report.

They then made the cuts permanent which caused a huge public outcry via the media. One brave staff member made the strike announcement but was quickly silenced because Pret played a trick on them. I explain here: Pret Staff Announce Strike.

Two tweets from only today from 2 different shops within an hour from each other. And Pret always ask customers to DM with more info claiming to be “so concerned to read this” as if Pret isn’t aware of the stress THEY cause from head office. Especially on weekends shops have maximum 3 staff, if they’re lucky 4. I worked like this in different Pret shops, and that before the pandemic. But now it’s much much worse. So, Pret ask for DM to lure customer data for future marketing.

More customer complaints and staff reviews in below YouTube slides including some stern words from Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha.

I use YouTube because not everyone wants to read long blog posts and because Facebook/Instagram completely censored/blocked my website after Pret and die-hard Pret fans reported me. But they can’t block YouTube!

This customer tweet hits the nail on the head!

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Long queues and customers started to boycott:

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Staff reviews and Nadia Sawahla’s words after Pret made temporary pay-cuts permanent:

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Some of many staff reviews from before the pandemic:

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The MOST poignant staff review from a kitchen worker who also had to jump in serving customers. There is no better worded review I have ever come across regarding work 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.

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.

French-run London bakery accuses Pret A Manger of ‘bullying’ over demand for name change

Yep, sounds just like Pret!

Evening Standard: French-run London bakery accuses Pret of ‘bullying’ over demand for name change

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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.

I was Team Leader Responsible for Health & Safety but Pret did NOT tell us of Allergen Deaths

Please click on above Spotify logo to listen to a converted voice version of below text.

I want to link to several posts I wrote from a behind the scenes perspective having worked at Pret A Manger when two customers died. The first fatality was 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse from unlabelled sesame in a baguette. The second customer was mother of 5 Celia Marsh who died of dairy traces in a vegan wrap.

It is still not clear whose responsibility Celia Marsh’s death was, if the non-dairy yogurt supplier or Pret.

I know from experience that it is super easy to hastily grab the wrong products in Pret as shops have always been under-staffed to maximize profit, and many are foreign workers who can take the wrong ingredient in a hurry. Staff are penalized if they don’t reach a certain percentage in the speed of assembling sandwiches.

I want to keep this short here and only link to the posts with certain issues I have experienced first hand. I continue to highlight that under-staffing shops is dangerous. And Pret continue to do so to maximize profit, even before the pandemic. Burnt-out staff are bound to make dangerous mistakes.

Some people say that I have a “vendetta” against Pret after what I survived as staff, and that’s why I write on all sorts of issues. My response to this is, it takes immense wrong doing for someone to speak out extensively and “whistle-blow” on wrong doing. If I was “just” a disgruntled former employee, I would have never started a blog. This is not about being disgruntled, this is about my own survival from this company and why Pret remain dangerous to people’s health.

I need to stress that I was a Team Leader of the shop floor responsible for a host of things like running the shops (opening or closing), ordering stock, counting money at the end of the day, checking temperature of cooling equipment, looking after the staff, striving that we had high scores in Mystery Shopper visits etc. etc.

A Team Leader in Pret is really like a mini-manager! they do EVERYTHING except hiring and firing. They are the true managers who run the shops. Same with kitchen Team Leaders, they run the kitchens.

But one of the responsibilities and job description of Team Leaders is health and safety. I myself took that extremely serious as I had many years experience in the hospitality industry in three countries.

I was known by colleagues to get on their nerves when I saw spillage on the floor and I stressed to first grab the yellow caution sign before getting the mop. Or the emergency exits even having the slightest item blocking it. Or the emergency calling cord that’s hanging to the floor in toilets and was tangled up. I always untangled it and re-trained everyone to keep checking that the chord is always loosely hanging on the floor easy to pull should someone be lying on the floor etc. etc.

This was not my managers training me to keep an eye on, this from my experience outside of Pret where I was TRULY trained!

I stress the Team Leader health & safety responsibility because Pret is extremely strict with many issues, but also with a lot of unimportant issues. But Pret did not only NOT tell us, especially Team Leaders, that not one, but two customers died and several got injured, there wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more cautious with labelling and allergen. Absolutely nothing! I am still very angry about this because Pret left us basically in the Wild West that if something happened, it’s our fault because they basically didn’t break the law at the time.

A list of issues I expand on in great detail:

Be Honest, Kind, Generous – Seminar on Customer Service. I start with a seminar that Pret did at the Barbican in spring 2017, a year AFTER Natasha died. But the seminar was NOT about allergen or labelling, it was about how to lure customers further to keep coming back spending money.

Vegans and Vegetarians Eat MEat at Pret with many photos by customers. Pret shops still mislabel products even in 2022 due to under-staffed, stressed out workers having to rush. Picture in the heading is a pot of mayonnaise sold as Bircher muesli. A stressed, rushed staff took the MAYONNAISE bucket instead of the dairy yogurt bucket. EASILY done!

A staff could have grabbed the dairy yogurt instead of the non-dairy yogurt for the vegan wrap that Celia Marsh died from.

Link

Pret’s labelling Committment? How staff easily mistake products due to under-staffing and rushing.

Pret do not label food in Dubai and Paris in 2021 and maybe other countries where there are insufficient labelling laws. Customers complain to Pret on social media with photos. Most likely there are no laws like the UK law “Natasha’s Law” since October 2021. Should a customer die in Dubai or Paris, Pret will again blame the local laws.

Pret Hygiene Rating 2/5. Many customers complain on filthy shops and London City Airport has scored 2 out of 5 in a December 2021 EHO visit on pest and hygiene issues. Again, under-staffed shops where staff are pushed to work fast to get products out but have no time to clean. Pret has never paid overtime while giving staff purposely very little time to do the job, then forcing them to work for free. Many staff walked out of Pret now.

Photos and videos of flies, maggots, rat droppings etc. in Pret food, as well as mice and ants running around including on food etc. Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot via YouTube:

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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.

Pret A Manger Fans & Media HOLD YOUR HORSES!

Pret’s in shambles alright. But above picture by @Ruffbinta on Twitter, where Storm Eunice knocked at Pret’s door a little too hard, is a good metaphor how Pret is a shadow of their past PR glory. Though, they’re still able to fool the public with a smiley front.

So, relax! Pret won’t go bust! Take a deeeeep breath and have some soothing camomile tea on the house. You’re just being fooled again. This is just their usual way to use the media to make people believe Pret’s crocodile tears!

In Germany they have a saying, “In der Not frisst der Teufel Fliegen”. Loosely translated, “In times of crisis, the devil eats flies”.

In other words, in unprecedented times we do things we’d NEVER EVER thought we’d do in “normal” times. We would even eat flies if it keeps us alive.

The problem here though is, Pret is NOT in trouble! They are doing the USUAL thing of using the media to keep luring customers in.

I explain this in the “Tränendüse” post from 2020 when CEO Pano Christou did a clever PR stunt using The Guardian.

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Every link I post below shows evidence of how Pret keeps tricking the public.

Pret is desperate for customers. And what BETTER way to get customers in than saying, “We are about to close down if you don’t come and wait for 15 minutes to be served by our understaffed minumim-wage workers while we refuse to pay taxes and are busy counting our money … Hey boo, come on, buy our fertilizer.”

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Link to @Karatee’s photo.

All the customers who not only boycott Pret, but vowed to never set foot inside Pret again (for lowering wages, coffee subscription issues, poor quality coffee and food, customer allergen deaths and injuries etc.), Pret wants to get back by squeezing their tears into a throw-away cup in hopes people return in droves.

Pret is back 93% pre-pandemic levels, but hey, someone needs to foot the bill for the loans Pret took out and all the lawsuits they’re hit with, including the recent settlement for FINGERPRINTING staff in Illinois agreeing to pay 800 staff a combined $677,000 (after lawyers take their share around $500 per staff)!

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LawStreetMedia.com

And at least 6 further lawsuits in the million for unpaid rents in the USA.

Give Pret 6-12 months, if not less, and they’re soaring again higher than before.

And most importantly, they still sleep well at nights.

Telegraph: “Pret scrambles to delay loan payments over ‘going concern’ warning – Coffee chain has until June to repay £66.7m after pandemic borrowing”

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Link to Telegraph article.

UPDATE: 19.02.2022

The comment section shows a lot of insight into private equity. Some people aren’t fooled by this.

Quote from Hercule Smith: “This is a non story. The PE sharks are just running their business in their normal fashion: drowning in debt to negate tax (until just before they want to refloat it, when debt will just marginally reduce). They’ll drop in more equity when they have no choice, unless they spot a chance to dump the debt via a pre-pack or similar.”

Another quote: “How do you issue a warning and say you are continuing to expand?”

Bingo! As the above person already explained about the private equity sharks, Pret received £100 million from shareholders to open 200 more shops within 3 years. This will now be doubled to £200 million. Pret also received £185 million from owners JAB Holdings in tax-haven Luxembourg as well as the support from the government during furlough etc. There is NO plan to pay debt!

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Another person wrote what I also thought yesterday, quote: “If they are struggling to pay £60m this year how on earth would they pay £600m next. As for trading at 93% od pre pandemic level I find that hard to believe.”

Exactly! Especially also with all the lawsuits and settlements, Pret have no urgency to pay any debt. I also find it hard to believe that Pret made 50 million coffees on the subscription. They claim 50 million cups on Instagram and Facebook but NOT on Twitter because more people would call Pret out on Twitter than Instagram & Facebook. And the press is more active on Twitter but not elsewhere.

Here one customer calling Pret out on their BS on IG which I posted on Twitter:

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Link to IG

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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.

The Love-Bombing from Pret A Manger Low-Wage Staff

I have written already extensively on Pret A Manger’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme including slides on YouTube. Someone last winter linked to my blog from Wikipedia, after I wrote a lot about my experience in Pret with the Mystery Shopper scheme and I kept mentioning Timothy Noah’s excellent article, “The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger“. But the Wiki editor deleted the link again. I don’t know who put my blog on Wiki or why it was then removed.

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But after 2018, after the customer deaths became known, Wikipedia updated a lot of information they didn’t have before, like the first Pret being opened in 1983 by Jeffrey Hyman NOT in 1986 etc. Pret keep it away from the public that Jeffrey Hyman was the first to open Pret and have now even put signs on Pret shops with a simple “London 1986”.

A friend of Jeffrey Hyman alleged on Twitter that Pret employed someone to keep deleting Hyman’s info off Wikipedia!

Link

A lot of info has been taken from my blog as usual, while Wiki remains out-dated on Pret issues. But that’s for another post.

I want to highlight again Pret’s humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme, but instead of a long blog post (don’t bank on it!), I want to link to my page with certain posts and YouTube slides I’ve already published. I use YouTube and keep adding to a playlist on a variety of issues, as Facebook and Instagram completely blocked my website after Pret must have reported me. But they can’t block YouTube! ‹^› (°_°) ‹^›

The press now KNOW about Pret’s emotional labour scheme but don’t want to elaborate on it as they always like to avoid having to mention my blog from where they got the initial info from. So, I keep updating customers who are still fooled that minimum-wage workers seem happy in an unforgiving stressful, noisy, hot, straining work environment.

Many customers are grateful to learn of this, some other customers cuss me out or communicate in other passive aggressive ways that they don’t want to know about this. They are p!ssed off because I destroy their illusions that staff actually smile for bonus and £100 cash rewards and NOT because they are in love with the customer or are happy working at Pret!

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Many middle-aged people are especially annoyed when they learn of the Mystery Shopper requirements, because they love to flirt with low-wage staff (for free coffee or just because they can). Some even LOVE it that staff are exploited this way and seem to get a kick out of it. Others have expressed their “reliance” of being “emotionally” cared for by poorly paid staff, who are exploited to meet the emotional needs of customers so that these customers return again and again to spend more money.

Customers become “reliant” on the emotional attention of low-wage staff as if workers are psychologists or emotional “prostitutes”. Customers have become conditioned to get their emotional fix from hospitality workers and workers have become accustomed to sell emotions on top of food in order to top up their low pay. I still cringe at this having had to distort my feelings for extra cash and to not get fear managed when a Mystery Shopper commented that I didn’t smile, even when I was sick. Staff are not paid the first 2 – 3 days sick leave, depending on their age, even when they have a sick note.

I had to constantly make a decision if to stay home to get well but lose money, or go to work sick and risk that my Team didn’t get the bonus because I coughed!

Mystery Shopper excerpt when I coughed and therefore couldn’t smile:

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Mystery Shopper comment: “Team members should smile at customers and may not work when ill, as team member was coughing whilst serving me and was therefore not feeling cheerful enough to smile that day.”

I was reprimanded in the office later by my boss after this report came in. I also didn’t “feel cheerful” enough to smile after I buried my brother and Pret bullied me to keep performing emotional labour and refused to place me in the kitchen. I literally begged managers to please put me in the kitchen for a day or week where I didn’t need to smile. But they often refused because I was too slow in the kitchen but very fast and efficient in the shop.

I had to suppress my grief and keep smiling. After my shift I often headed for the bridge. Well Pret, I survived to tell my story!

Important to note as well that Pret staff have 60 seconds (sometimes Pret changes it to 90 seconds) to serve a customer, also to get the coffee ready into customer’s hands, and on top of that staff are demanded to stroke people’s emotions on the go!

If a staff or the Barista takes longer than 60-90 seconds, they risk also not getting Mystery Shopper bonus as Mystery Shoppers time them to the second while expecting PERFECT coffees, smiles, chatting, eye contact …

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Link to article.

UPDATE: On my podcast I talk in detail how the Pret mystery shopper scheme works. As WordPress also censor me and now don’t allow embeds, just click on the link or copy paste into a new window: https://anchor.fm/expretdotorg/episodes/Pret-A-Mangers-Strict-Mystery-Shopper-Scheme-e1ho40a

Or check Spotify:

Many more customer comments via the below YouTube l slides.

I received many Mystery Shopper “outstanding cards” (£50 cash reward) and “super outstanding cards” (£100 rewards when the scores were perfect) and many customer compliments for my service. But inside I was burnt out and later suicidal after my brother died. Pret continued to demand that I smile. I was reprimanded by management, including an area Manager after the Mystery Shopper commented that I didn’t smile.

The Mystery Shopper didn’t know that I just buried my brother, but Pret knew. It didn’t matter. No mercy.

Since I publicly write on this, highlighting certain sentences from the Mystery Shopper reports, Pret has changed the wording to avoid criticism.

Excerpt of previous Pret Mystery Shopper questions which Pret has now changed to more general questions:

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Quote, I highlight/bold a few things:

Pret: “We aim to connect with every customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks. Rate the engagement level of the person who served you at the till.”

Mystery Shopper: “I was not greeted at the till or given a smile. The only conversation was what was necessary for the transaction. To be welcoming, the team member could have greeted me and smiled and be engaged and positive, the team member could have given me a friendly remark or made small talk.”

Little but important side note, an individual Pret staff serves an average of 300-500 customers per 8 – 10 hour shift depending on the busyness of the shop and their position. Hot Chefs, Baristas, Kitchen Staff of course serve less people as they have their job roles cut out for them. Pret demands that staff bend backwards like acrobatic clowns and what I call as “emotional prostitutes” to draw customers in emotionally to spend more money.

Further:

Quote:

Pret: “We aim to be attentive to each customer’s needs. Rate the engagement level of the whole team in this shop during your visit.”

Mystery Shopper: “The team members were focused on their jobs but were not welcoming customers. This could be improved by the team members smiling at customers when they entered the shop, and making a friendly remark or small talk, where possible.”

Where possible? Maybe it wasn’t possible because Team Members were FOCUSED on their JOBS for which they were paid for. Bonus is at the discretion of Mystery Shoppers and Managers. it’s a bonus, not a required wage! Yet, in this they are bullied and fear managed THE MOST!

It’s a lose-lose for staff. They are focused on their jobs for which they were hired and paid to fulfill, and if they wouldn’t be doing their jobs, they would be penalized for not cleaning, stocking up etc. And customers love to flock to Twitter to complain that their tables weren’t wiped or there is no sugar stocked up. All the while Mystery Shoppers are demanded to probe if staff smile while bending backwards being FOCUSED on their jobs!

If they do their jobs, they are reprimanded for not smiling. If they smile and chat but then don’t have time to stock up or clean or a bit of toilet paper is on the floor etc., they are reprimanded for not doing their jobs. It does not matter AT ALL how well they work, how much they do, they are always penalized and bullied in a nutshell.

Only one of many such reviews, 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.«

So, now many shops have locked the toilets with “out-of-order” sign on it since months.

They go left, they’re penalized for not turning right. They turn right, they’re penalized for not turning left. They run, they’re penalized for not stopping. They stand still, they’re penalized for not moving … You get the picture! I know what I’m talking about, I survived this bullsh!t abuse!

If you, dear reader, really want to see the micromanagement and humiliation in how ONE staff made a silly mistake, resulting in the whole team not getting bonus, read THIS, especially at the bottom of the page!

But be warned, your illusions are going to really get fucked up!

And to further destroy illusions of Pret’s “generosity”, when a staff member gives a freebie, that is almost a guarantee to get the £100 cash reward from the Mystery Shopper. An example of this is at the very bottom YouTube player.

I am not a fan of chains and neither of Wetherspoons, but boss Tim Martin in his interview with Kirsty Young on Desert Island discs years ago, said something that pleasantly surprised me. I’ve put an excerpt of the interview on Soundcloud, click play:

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Pret boasts about recruiting staff for their personality rather than their skill. This sounds lovely doesn’t it! Yet, so many especially in leadership are clueless on how to do their jobs. But as long as they are like bouncing bunnies fulfilling customers’ emotional fixes, that’s all that Pret cares about.

Two customer deaths and 20+ allergen injuries has not taught Pret a lesson that SKILL is life saving, with or without a smile. I write about this in: Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be Fatal, where I dissect HR Director Andrea Wareham’s interview on this.

Again, please also read Timothy Noah’s brilliant article from a customer and journalist point of view! And you may say, why don’t staff just get another job? Well, this question is for psychology and experienced service workers to answer in how fear management, brainwashing and inexperience with exploitation in low-wage jobs work.

And if you as a customer would ask any Pret staff if they’re happy working there, of course they will say YES with a BIG smile, because they fear you could be the Mystery Shopper! Even regular customers can be Mystery Shoppers and staff ALWAYS anticipate them walking into the shop at anytime.

I renamed the Mystery Shopper to “Misery” Shopper also because these are often people who ENJOY their power to withdraw or give bonus. I once signed up on a Mystery Shopper Forum where secret shoppers mingled and exchanged experiences of their jobs.

I explained to them our ordeal and how excruciating it is to have to love-bomb customers to get extra cash EVEN when we are bereaved, depressed, ill etc. Nine out of ten Mystery Shoppers on that forum were merciless and said that it is our jobs to smile no matter what. They absolutely enjoyed the power they had over minimum-wage staff. That’s why I dedicated my blog post on Timothy Noah’s article naming him a “hero” in my book! As a journalist he dared to take a more critical look at Pret back in 2013 when no journalist dared to critique Pret.

A thorough and extensive list on Pret’s emotional labour demands via weekly Mystery Shoppers can be found here, with links to Mystery Shopper reports, my own experience, YouTube and journalists reports: The Dangers of Emotional Labour.

Here I want to briefly highlight a few things again. I will now abbreviate Mystery Shopper to MS.

Since I write about Pret’s MS scheme, Pret has put some info into shops to quickly counter any critique and “admit” they do MS requirements, but they fail to explain how micromanaging and humiliating it is. Again, for thorough detail, see above “Dangers of Emotional Labour” page to the links.

After a strike announcement was made in August 2021, Pret quickly reinstated the hourly staff bonus from 50p to £1 starting in September 2021. Now Pret announced that the bonus will be £1.25 from April on when the government raises the minimum wage, forcing Pret to pay a few pennies more to LOOK generous.

I explain in detail why reinstating the bonus is a TRICK: Pret Staff Consider Strike.

In short:

Shop/kitchen hourly paid staff SOLELY rely on their weekly bonus via the weekly Mystery Shopper visits AND shop Managers moods.

Until April 2022 a staff member can earn an extra £1 per hour IF the MS is happy enough to give it. If a staff member works let’s say 60 hours that week, he/she will get £60 bonus that week if the MS is happy to give it. From April 2022 it will be £1.25 p/h. But even if the MS awards the bonus, the shop Managers have the discretion to NOT give the bonus for ANY silly reason. I explain in detail in above “Strike” post.

I and colleagues have been threatened by management that our bonus will be cut for any and all silly reason I explain in detail. Thus, Pret is using the bonus system to penalize staff and save money. Some staff have left reviews on Glassdoor and/or Indeed explaining that the bonus is used as a “weapon” or that achieving MS bonus has become extremely hard due to understaffed shops. Teams have lost bonus because there was a little toilet paper on the floor in the toilet, regardless if the shops are understaffed.

THAT IS WHY many shops have just CLOSED the toilets with an “out-of-order” sign on the door, as they don’t have staff to keep it clean and thus not get bonus.

It’s a lose-lose for shops! It does NOT matter how much they bend backwards and forwards, Pret penalize and bully them via the strict and unreasonable Mystery Shopper scheme. In hindsight after what I have survived in Pret, I really really believe that Pret executives and head office including HR literally ENJOY treating staff like this. Leadership that abuse their power over minimum-wage staff.

Managers also coerce young inexperienced Team Members to have sex in exchange for promotion. Sure, you may say, that’s a hefty allegation, but what world do you live in where your illusions get the better of you? Abuse in low-wage jobs is rife EVERYWHERE in the world. You know that! It was often an open secret what Manager got into their position via the bedroom! Sad for a sandwich shop! You expect that in law firms and politics or the music industry, but a sandwich chain? Really sad.

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Link to review on Glassdoor.

Or Luton Airport management:

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Link to review on Indeed.

Quote: “… Only sad thing was the whole sleep with a manager to get to where you want. Sadly it was the case for who was my assistant manager and main manager at the time. A lot of staff were very angry at this happening but that was not for me to dwell on. I looked past it.”

People have sex in the staff room because the shop offices have hidden cameras after Managers would have sex in the offices.

Shop Managers, Assistant Managers, Area Managers and above get their bonuses quarterly. But their bonus relies on a host of things like shop profits, waste management, labour costs, health and safety scores etc. But the biggest chunk in management bonus comes from the Mystery Shopper scores.

So, while shop/kitchen hourly paid staff solely rely on Mystery Shoppers and Managers to get their bonus, Managers and higher ups have more chances to get their bonuses. Thus, penalizing front-line, low-wage employees is much easier than Managers. This way they can control staff better while cashing in on the top levels.

Anyway, for anyone who loves to live in the real world and doesn’t mind to get their illusions destroyed, I wrote an encyclopedia on Pret’s “Misery” Shopper scheme with tons of examples and MS reports detailing the point and cash reward requirements.

So, next time a minimum-wage worker is love-bombing you, you won’t need to toss and turn at night thinking they’re in love with you. They just want to top up their crumbs that millionaire executives throw at them.

Smile For The Misery Shopper:

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After my writing on this, Pret changed the wording, but the demands remain as brutal as ever:

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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.

Pret A Manger Sourcing New Lies (UPDATE Mar. 2022)

As Pret is raising the coffee subscription price from £20 to £25 a month, some customers announced cancelling their sub (good luck!). Some mention that they continue to NOT get any smoothies/frappes, even now in winter, no chai latte available etc. Pret of course continue to use excuses while in reality don’t want to serve any expensive items, including the complimentary cream on the sub. I write about this extensively in Pret A Manger keep adding excuses for not serving items

Also, Pret played a very clever tactical game. They raised the prices of food and other items these last few weeks, so customers quickly got the coffee subscription in hopes to safe money on raised coffee prices. Pret waited a few weeks so more customers subscribed, then now raise the sub prices. And it is common knowledge now that Pret make is hard to unsubscribe! And even when people succeed to cancel the sub, Pret continue to withdraw money from accounts. More on this below.

Between June and September 2021 Pret came up with yet another lie after multiple complaints kept coming in about lack of smoothies and frappes. Pret held people for fools, and most fell for it.

The lie was that they’re “sourcing improved equipment” but that this will take “a little while to deploy to every shop”. What Pret is NOT telling customers is that the GENERAL term of “equipment” are NOT ice machines or blenders, but the Cimbali coffee machines. Pret again leave it up to customers to interpret new improved “equipment”.

Customers keep speaking about ICE MACHINES and BLENDERS, NOT coffee machines! Pret wants to give COFFEES on the subscription NOT expensive iced drinks and chai latte etc. So a general term of “equipment” should fool the public.

Grass has grown over this and complaints continue now in WINTER 2022 Februrary that hardly any customer can find a smoothie or frappe where the demand is VERY low in the cold weather. Pret still refuse to serve it to safe money and continue to rip customers off via the subscription.

June Tweet:

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Link

The last of this generic copy & paste lie came in September 2021:

Link

It’s now February 2022.

Companies who work with Pret usually make huge announcement of equipment roll-outs. Coffee machine company Cimbali and others announced on all social media platforms that Pret has purchased new coffee machine equipment.

Interesting that there is NO announcement of ice machine or other equipment for iced drinks. 😉 The faster coffee machines are there of course to do MORE coffee for the subscription! But no iced drinks are offered. Also, what do faster more efficient coffee machines do when there is hardly any staff to man them!

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Link

So, the Pret social media staff spoke a half-truth. Pret DID roll out new “equipment”, but for coffee beans, not for ice machines or blenders, and neither for more staff to work to get the queues down.

And when complaints flood in about where the equipment is, Pret will claim that they meant the coffee machines. Thus the customer is the one looking stupid again.

UPDATE 24.03. 2022

A new lie has emerged which is so funny I almost peed myself laughing! A shop supposedly got a new blender but with only ONE jug. Well, that is impossible because in Pret we were ALWAYS required to have at least TWO separate jugs for dairy and a separate jug for non-dairy (smoothies). We even got stressed to use the appropriate lids. The dairy jug had its own lids and the smoothie jug has its own lid, EVEN when they were washed, we were required to use appropriate lid for each jug.

And Instagram is also on fire with new complaints regarding no iced drinks served.

Link

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Another lie Pret gives which is also laughable. In the summer Pret claims that due to HIGH demand, they quickly run out of iced drinks (even at 7am in the morning 😉 ). Now the lie is, in winter due to LACK of demand … 😀

I worked at Pret as a Team Leader, like a mini-manager, responsible for ordering stock every day. I worked for 10 years in 30+ shops, we NEVER EVER EVER ran out of iced drinks in WINTER! Not even in the summer. We were always instructed to have plenty in stock, which we did! It was EXTREMELY rare, even in the summer that we ran out of ONE item, then we offered another iced drink. And especially in Winter, there is NO way shops don’t order enough or ran out! Complete Bullsh!t and lies! So, Pret continue to hold customers for fools.

Tweets from just today:

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Link

Pret raise the subscription price while offering sh!t service and VERY limited products. Even the BBC report from December 2021 of 5000 customer complaints doesn’t seem to change that. Only a HEAVY fine and the masses voting with their feet will get Pret’s attention.

BBC: “Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal”

Link

Pret won’t waste any time to source new lies to every customer.

NHS nurse Tweet:

Link

Pret is indirectly pinning customers against low-wage staff, saying £1.50 from the subscription increase will go to the staff pay-rise. So, customers get mad at staff, while in reality, Pret is greedy, using the crisis to fill their pockets again. The pay-rise to £10 which will come in April, and is NOT in effect now, is a joke anyway because Pret keeps all the benefits cut, staff are still worse off.

Also, Pret is hit with numerous lawsuits ringing up into the millions, especially in the USA. A recent class action Pret has settled on fingerprinting low-wage front-line shop staff for clocking in and out. Pret agreed to pay 800 staff a combined $677.000. Everyone will get approx. $500 after the legal Teams take their slice.

And who better to foot the legal bills than customers!

More here: Pret’s Lawsuits and Settlements

Dan Price, founder and CEO of credit card processing company Gravity Payments who lowered his million dollar wage to $70K a year and raised all his staff wages to $70K, made a good statement:

Link

UPDATE 07.02.2022

After getting challenged on their “supplier issue” excuse (Pret read my blog) as well with chai latte since almost a year as well as matcha latte, cream etc. (all expensive items for the subscription) they now use a broad, general excuse of “operational difficulties as a result of the pandemic”. A one-size-fits-all approach that cannot be traced for truth. Clever Pret. But still, customers aren’t stupid and remain unhappy. Many silently vote with their feet.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2022-02-06-from-supplier-issues-now-to-operational-issues.jpg

Link

Pret A Manger’s Shady Practices, especially with the subscription and the difficulty to cancel the sub with Pret continuing to withdraw money AFTER people cancelled:

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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.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Prick A Manger — Pret A Manger’s Phallic Baguette

Okay, okay, I know what you think! What dirty mind do you have! But bare with me. Pun intended!

As customer complaints continue of Pret’s price hike, one customer pointed out how the baguettes have shrunk while prices have risen.

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Link

I want to point out something else here with Pret’s advertisements.

For one, Pret only use slim FEMALE hands in their advertising and mainly CAUCASIAN female hands. And the way the hands are holding a baguette or wrap has even other customers stunned.

Of course Pret will say it’s up to the customer in how to interpret Pret’s communications. When I worked at Pret and we had our training days in Head Office to become Team Leaders, we spoke about the calories in products. We were informed that the Posh Cheddar baguette had the highest calories, but that it is up to customers to decide what and how much to consume.

In other words, we say it’s healthy, while it’s loaded with salt, fats, chemicals, but you dear customer decide if you want to stuff yourself with out food. So, don’t complain later! This also happened in the lawsuit regarding Pret’s “natural” claim. Pret tried to get the lawsuit tossed out saying that paraphrased, customers should know that Pret’s food isn’t natural. I write on this in detail here at the bottom of the post: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat.

I will just put a few screenshots here, but people can check themselves what kind of ads Pret do, only using female, mainly white hands.

One customer pointed out on Instagram about the length of the baguette advertised that Pret enlarged. I worked at Pret for 10 years and NEVER seen this size baguette:

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The same ad on Facebook where a customer “omg’d” on it:

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Link

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Or an ad of a wrap:

Link

Also, a little side note, Pret is often cleverly using customer photos for their online ads. At times customers are “lucky” to get a month of free coffees for making free advertising or provide photos, other times customers have to ask for something. In reality, ads usually go for thousands of pounds especially when in print forever. But many are willing to give it freely to a multi-billion pound company making money off people’s photos and printed words.

And the monthly free coffees are of course via the subscription service that people have to sign up for! Win-win for Pret all the way! Coffees for Pret are extremely cheap. It costs Pret nearly nothing. One cup, including cup, lid, milk, labour etc. doesn’t cost more than 30-35p. Do the math on the profit margin and people easily selling out for cheap items in return for precious data (for marketing and to bind people to the brand) including intellectual property.

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Here, a customer is bold enough to ask for something for allowing Pret to use their photo, and yet after 3 weeks still hasn’t heard or received anything, while Pret collects data (home address, email) for future marketing:

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I also pointed out to Pret during Christmas time 2018 how unprofessional and CHEAP it is to use in-house staff for ads, when one photo showed quite poor, actually missing, manicure. Pret then deleted the Tweet, photo-shopped the picture and re-uploaded 11 days later. Now they seem to have gotten a better photographer, but it’s clear that the advertising people in Pret seem to be male.

Deleted Tweet from 10. Dec. 2018 which made me lose appetite:

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New Tweet from 21. Dec. 2018, photo-shopped and cropped whatever couldn’t get fixed 😀

Link

Even when zooming in on a 2021 ad for a wrap, the fingers are also look “rough” as if Pret used a kitchen staff for a free photo shoot.

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Why am I making such a fuss about it apart from being put off by poor manicure for food ads? Because Pret DEMANDS front-line, low paid shop staff to be PERFECT while under intense, unreasonable stress, and then in their highly paid marketing and digital departments at Head Office not delivering themselves!

Apart from that, I want to point out that Pret 9.9 out of 10 times use Caucasian, female hands and leave it up for interpretation what customers see in the photos.

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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.

Pret A Manger: »From the outside, it seems funny, on the inside, it’s a nightmare company«

I rarely check on staff reviews anymore like I used to, but sometimes a review jumps out, maybe almost for its “poetry”.

I wanted to call this blog post “Business Plan in Reversal” because the following review by a Barista sounds almost like a proposal or ad.

I want to put the whole review here verbatim but spread out for its creativity. I don’t want to highlight any specific issue like I usually do, because the WHOLE review would need to be underlined.

From Glassdoor. The title, to be frank of Pret not being the same anymore, well Pret has NEVER been good or fair, they just were able to fool everyone better during good/non-crisis times! And former CEO Clive Schlee was better in sweet-talking while Pano Christou puts his head in the sand and goes into hiding, pleasing ONLY the owners, shareholders and himself.

»Not the same company anymore

Pros
Free crap food and coffees if you care

Cons
A toxic environment that doesn’t stimulate growth.

From the outside, it seems funny, on the inside, it’s a nightmare company based on favouritism.

Its culture and values? Only mere advertisements.

Its promotions? Crap marketing strategies.

Its products? Coffees, frappes, food and beverages are ridiculously cheap for them and 4 times more expensive for people that pay their major expenses with health. Without considering that the majority of the staff in their shops don’t care about hygiene and food standards.

Its staff? Bossy frustrated slaves to the company that tries to take advantage of any person they hire.

They strive to mask the truth from people, that the only thing they care about is money. That is why they have wages to the limit, cutting on staff and driving those who work to quit.

Pret is not a company that cares for its employees anymore, nor for the people. In my experience, from 2019, I have worked over a year at Pret and in the end, I didn’t even receive the payment for the holidays accrued.

If you are looking for a well-paid job that makes you feel satisfied with what you do, then this is not a company for you. In my opinion, any other job would be better than Pret. I don’t recommend it at all.

Advice to Management

You should reconsider a few things if you want to save this company from failure.«

Link to review.

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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.

When Life is too Hard that you keep up your Guard … Pret A Manger

Let’s have some FUN!

Yes, I can be light hearted and join some “fun” from time to time. But I can’t keep it just at a wishy-washy la la land situation. Fun here can be interpreted as wished!

A few “fun” things I tried to fling into the atmosphere from serious issues regarding Pret A Manger.

The Molly Goodfellow Pret Thread

Pret Poets Society

PRostitution in PRet

What does an Angel of Light look like?

The Pret A Manger Anthem

Former Pret CEO Clive Schlee is now Prohibited from entering a Pret

THE OLD pret a MANger AND THE SEA

How to Chase 3 Multi-millionaire Businessmen off Twitter

The Pret Love Treatment

Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot

Pret A Merde

Pret A Migraine

WOWing Pret Customers (Area managers sometimes give a staff member £10 or £20 when they see staff “wowing” at work incl. wowing customers. This is to manipulate other staff to do more. I still wow customers 😉 )

Happy Being-Awkward Day

Escape From Pret – The Inedible True Story

Pret’s Bang-Bang Rip-off Wrap

Pret’s Diverse and Reliable Soup Rota

Organic Coffins Natural Fools – Pret has a new fool

An IMAGINARY but Honest Interview with Pret

Pret Foundation Trust and Pret’s FALLEN STARS Program!

The Day Clive Schlee had a Bright Idee (The £1000 Announcement)

Pret set aside £10.

Pret and “Broken Window Syndrome”

The 12 Days of Christmas … uhm, the 12 ways of Pret’s Mess!

Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendars 2019, 2020, 2021

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UNRELATED-ish TO PRET:

Ruin a Band Name by Removing 1 Letter

Ruin a Band Name with 1 Letter (removing OR adding OR exchanging a letter)

Ruin a Company with 1 CEO

Writing Challenges and Fun Stuff

Nothing more to come, because I’m done.

©2022 expret.org

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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 starve and 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.
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: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


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.

Pret A Manger Hygiene Rating

I’ve been writing on Pret’s hygiene and pest issues since I started my blog from own experience as well as what customers post on social media.

I’ve tweeted @foodgov on Twitter many times regarding pest issues, stale/expired food etc. I am surprised though that Pret at an airport did so poorly.

When I worked at Pret, an internal health and safety staff from head office made an unannounced visit to a Pret shop, and when this shop did poorly they call it a “black visit”. This means that shop had multiple issues of poor hygiene, expired foods, pest etc.

When this happens, Pret then names and shames that shop throughout the whole company for the rest of us to shudder in fear to do better. I never liked this calling out of shops, managers and staff, for the main reason that Pret do NOT give shops enough staff or PAID time to do things properly. Managers have not been trained properly on pest issues until a shop was shut down by an EHO at around 2011-ish. THEN only did Pret get a professional pest control company on board whereas before only had internal staff to deal with it.

I write about this in below link “Rat A Manger …” where I worked in a mice infested shop and we BEGGED head office for us to close the shop over the weekend to get on top of this! But no, nothing was done until an EHO closed down a shop after finding pest issues. Then Pret started firing and penalizing Managers who weren’t trained in the first place!

Plus, staff have always been overworked, even before the pandemic. Pret schedules staff rotas so tightly that staff have no chance whatsoever to finish all the tasks, especially the cleaning in the time given. Pret pretends that staff aren’t working hard enough, while in reality they work their @rses off! Managers then manipulate and fear manage staff to work overtime for free!

But because I was/am very organized by nature, I often managed to finish tasks with my colleagues on time, even early. And after this constant aim to manipulate us to work even harder for free, I drew the line and clocked off by the minute and as a Team Leader let my colleagues go home at the DOT of our scheduled finish time.

Whatever task couldn’t be completed, we left undone, as long as we did the most important things first, like cleaning, health and safety checks and repairs etc. Anything unimportant we left for the end, finished it, or we didn’t finish it and went home. Enough was enough! As long as we worked hard and did our utmost best, I refused to be threatened or manipulated to do even more for free. My Managers had no choice but respect this, because most of the time we DID finish everything and they KNEW my and my colleagues’ work ethics. They had NOTHING to get us with, even though they tried!

So, my question to regular customers is: You witness shops being so immensely busy, overcrowded, understaffed, two people behind the counter if they’re lucky, one person on the coffee, queue to the door, day in day out! And now during the pandemic and much more staff shortages, staff sick, staff walking out … shops close unannounced and without explanation or with dodgy “technical issues” notices.

Do you think that the food you eat is really FRESH?

Do you think that minimum-wage burnt out staff have time nor care to wash their hands in-between products (vegetable to meat products, allergen, gluten-free etc.)? Especially now during the pandemic in even more understaffed shops?

Do you really think that Pret has high quality products after being fed these slogans for decades?

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London City Airport’s hygiene rating is just the tip of the iceberg!

And if an airport shop can rate so poorly, a shop that is within a shopping unit on a property run by third parties, not independently as a shop on its own on the high street, are you kidding yourself that all the other shops are doing better?

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When I walk by a business that has a rating of 4, I always ask myself “What was the ONE point they lost the rating for?” I am not a competitive person in sports, or creative things etc. I do my thing, and when people are better or more successful in whatever they do, that’s great. I don’t care about that. Everyone has talents, makes effort, does hard work. But when it comes to hygiene ratings, I expect 5 out of 5 and won’t enter the business with a rating of 4! When it comes to hygiene and health & safety, I have zero tolerance to the slightest issue that is easily preventable!

The first thing I do when entering a restaurant, I go to the toilet, partly to wash my hands before eating, but also to see how the toilets are. I have walked out of businesses before even sitting down at a table, just by the looks of the toilets. End of.

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Link to part of the report which in this case was pest issue.

Quote:

»Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene« Improvement necessary. End of quote.

Usually when pest issues are found, the EHO who did the visit closes the shop until it is free of any pest. When an internal Pret HQ health and safety staff had a “black visit”, the shop has 4 weeks to improve. Often the shop Manager, even Assistant Managers and Team Leaders will be moved to other shops or send on “holiday” or get fired, depending on the situation and/or how close/friendly the Manager is to the OPs/area Manager. It’s all about making friends in Pret unfortunately. I was never good at making friends. I just wanted to do my job and go home.

Back in 2015 six+ months after my brother died and an area Manager targeted me for months on end with the help of other Managers, I was sent to a shop that had a “black visit” to help fix the mess. I was known for my strict hygiene and safety record, doing things by the book. But it was my darkest time in 2015 and 2016, with my brother’s death and the intense bullying issues that started shortly after I lost my brother.

Other Team Leaders and an Assistant Manager from other shops were also sent to that shop, as the whole shop leadership team was sent on holiday or fired. We had 4 weeks to fix the shop. What I didn’t know at the time is that I was sent there to FAIL! And I did fail in a few things, which was NORMAL because that shop was a f@cking mess and we were in front of a mountain of issues trying to figure out where to start!

All eyes were on that shop! Everyday “important” people from head office visited, health and safety staff came by, the pressure to improve daily was very high. And frankly, it was very unfair on us who came from other shops to fix a mess we didn’t create! They had no mercy! This area Manager who targeted me to get rid of me used the SMALLEST issue to get me a written warning etc. with the help of another area Manager and Managers.

Last year I called out another area Manager on Linkedin and Twitter who helped her to target me. This area Manager who’s shop had the black visit (she doesn’t work at Pret anymore after 20+ years, but still interacts with Pret on Linkedin), helped target me and then had the audacity to “like” my pinned Tweet about former CEO Clive Schlee. I asked her many times, for months to unlike my Tweet as I did not want her on my time line.

She was a SENIOR OPs Manager with 18+ years experience at the time. She could have EASILY supported me instead of supporting the bully-area Manager to target me. I still did my job exceptionally well, even during traumatic bereavement. I was KNOWN for my work. I was TOLD and confirmed via Mystery Shopper reports etc.

She could have stepped in, having seen my track record at work. But she helped the bully instead to get me a “note of concern”, a first step in the direction of a disciplinary and then dismissal. The smallest things I made a mistake in I was targeted with, penalized and threatened. All during the darkest time in bereavement! It was an emotional war zone I found myself in! How I survived this, I do not know! At the time “ignorance was bliss” and I kept giving Pret the benefit of the doubt, until the evidence mounted! I saw with my own eyes after applying for my file, how Pret with HR and Managers SCHEMED against me! It was there, in black and white on paper!

Bereaved, ill, even disabled staff have no room in busy Pret shops. Time is money, and whoever crumbles under the weight of personal tragedy will be sieved out fast.

If Pret would have supported me from day one, like they boast about their Pret Foundation Trust to be helping vulnerable people, I would be writing a completely different blog now!

And the little help they did provide was ONLY after I contacted former CEO Clive Schlee in WRITING, so as to cover their tracks! But the bullying continued, it just shifted in more subtle ways.

Pret’s Foundation Trust charity project is PR and a smoke screen. Longtime staff have no chance when they become bereaved or ill! They need to go ASAP!

I even suggested to Pret in writing to put me under someone in the Pret Foundation Trust until I recuperated, another OPs Manager I worked with briefly, also suggested this to Pret, also in writing! But Pret refused!

So, this experienced area Manager helping the bully and then liking my pinned Tweet? Really?? Nah!

She ignored my request to “unlike” the Tweet again and again! Only when I requested this again under current CEO Pano Christou’s Linkedin mention, did she unlike it, then blocked me and then LIED publicly to never have liked it. Well, thanks for confirming what a toxic b**** you are!

Typical Pret leadership!

She then lied publicly on Linkedin after I asked again for her to “unlike” under a post that mentions former CEO Clive Schlee and current CEO Pano Christou. I then got booted out of that feed and my post got hidden/deleted by Linkedin after someone reported me. That’s why I take screenshots. But this is VERY typical Pret A Manger leadership, they like stuff in secret while pretending to be with/for Pret in the open.

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Really?!

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But regarding Pret’s hygiene and pest issues, and the 2 rating in City Airport, dear customer, you see the tip of the iceberg here!

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My post on pest issues in Pret: Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot

My post on expired NON-fresh food: Pret Food is NOT Fresh

YouTube video and slide for those who don’t want to read long blog posts:

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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.

Racial Profiling in Pret A Manger

My second post of the year is for a lady who has raised the issue of racial profiling in a Pret shop in Manhatten, NY. She contacted Pret, and after a few times did get a response, but then keeps getting ignored again since months.

Of course, at this point it’s an allegation, but no-one who makes up stories would pursue this for months. And from experience having worked at Pret, I know for a fact that there is racism in Pret, also toward staff. I mention this because some come with the bullcrap “argument” that these are only allegations and no proof. I can only implore journalists again to go undercover into Pret and see for themselves!

I send her a link to CEO Pano Christou’s Linkedin post on Facebook, she posted on Linkedin as well now (see below). But so far no response again.

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Link

Pano Christou closed his Twitter account on 01. July 2019 after I tweeted to the press about Clive Schlee’s “retirement” and also mentioned Pano’s Twitter account. He then promptly deleted it and now “hides” on Linkedin where people tell each other sweet little nothings all day, and how awesome Pano is, while Pret shops lie in shambles!

Journalists read my blog, so I offered her to put her concerns on my blog. Her message to Pano on Linkedin which they still leave in, usually they delete critical posts:

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Link

For larger print, quote:

»On August 30, 2021 I was racially profiled in one of your locations in Manhattan New York 47th & 6th street. I went through the proper channels and emailed customer service. As of this date December 23,2021 I have not gotten a phone call or any type of gesture apologizing. I have been in contact with someone but nothing has been done. I emailed them yesterday and my email came back blocked so I use two other emails address and they came back blocked. The first Rep was Elle Reference #10091595. I don’t want to discuss in details what happened on the platform but if I have to I will. You can check into this matter and get back with me ASAP.«

And having worked at Pret for 10 years and visited Pret’s London Head Offices many times, I rarely saw Black, Indian/Asian staff working there. Most are Caucasian British, German, French with very few exceptions. The same with OPs/area and shop managers.

UPDATE

February 2022

Pret’s response via Facebook (Shanee sent this to me). Pret AGAIN claims to have some technical difficulty, pretending they didn’t get the message.

I ask again like I did in my other post about Pret’s ongoing “technical issues” while having received a “digital technology leaders award”:

Pret A ‘Manager’ Received Digital Technology Award (for screwing up their digital technology so much!). In the post I linked to some of the many customer complaints that they can’t use their subscription and Pret claiming “technical issues”.

Question: How can a multi-billion £$ company have THAT MANY technical issues for so long?

Anwser: they don’t have technical issues, they’re just lying again!

Pret’s response on Facebook while continuing to ignore the complaint onracial profiling AGAIN. Shanee has the her emails as proof she sent it:

“Hi Shanee, We’re sorry to hear that your original message has not yet been resolved. We’ve asked our team to see if they’ve received your emails so they can get back to you as soon as possible. We’re also currently working to resolve a tech issue that sends an “undeliverable” message even when the emails are delivered. This is likely what happened when you tried to email our team this week.”

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Also, a Twitter feed of a customer experiencing racism in a Pret shop:

Link

Another feed on Twitter, also going into detail:

Link

A radio station in Washington DC where Pret also has shops:

Link

An article in The Voice about racism in Pret:

Link

A former staff sued Pret on racism in NY. It may be that the lawsuit was settled, as there are no more news about it.

Link

UPDATE 11.01.2022 Pret USA

Link to Instagram post

Former Pret staff after Pret made their PR stunt BLM message and always make big noisy charity announcement:

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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.

Pret A Manger 2021 Year in Review

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1312 – Pret A Manger

From the day I started writing on my Pret A Manger ordeal to the day the BBC, via journalist Mike Powell, put my writings on the map, 1312 days have passed.

Thank you BBC.

Thank you Mike Powell. Thank you Vivienne Nunis. Mostly for your patience. And for believing (in) me.

Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal


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730,000 rounded down, because in selfish capitalistic worlds you round down … Time is money, and we don’t have time to be generous! Lose leap years, hold your numbers very tight! Mathematics don’t lie. In a nutshell, estimated 730,000-ish days from the first Christmas. Happy Christmas y’all! Life comes to an end, but until then we’ll live it. Every second of every day.

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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.

»The most Toxic work culture I have ever experienced«

When I started writing about Pret publicly in May 2018, I never knew about Glassdoor and Indeed. I was too occupied with work and the traumas I went through, that I never realized that there were employment review websites out there.

I started to research on Pret and then came across Glassdoor and Indeed. It was like a new world opened up to me. I was so naive and like a kid in a sweet-shop, I discovered all these reviews about Pret that sounded so similar to my experience.

I then went to town and started collecting reviews. I put a chosen review that spoke to me on my blog every day and called it “Quote of the Day“. I obsessed over those reviews and scanned through the whole of Glassdoor and Indeed, as well as YouTube, Twitter etc.

Yes, I know! Whatever you think of my loony mind, it’s okay with me! I know what I survived!

These days I don’t check reviews so much anymore because I’m tired and I think I made my point now!

But a new review by Senior Leadership came that deserves its own blog post. I don’t know what “senior leadership” means, if it’s a shop General Manager, OPs Manager or someone in head office. It’s someone who’s either been in Pret leadership for a long time, or is in a high position. But these words ring painfully true and I love the way the person wrote it. Simple, short and sharp!

Quote:

»Awful, non-collaborative leadership that are never on the same page. Huge toxic blame culture. People are expendable… expected to work around the clock for the business but then in return were treated inhumanely when covid hit. Pret doesn’t care for it’s employees at all – it only cares about it’s externally facing reputation. Many of us that left, after having our morals and ethics compromised during lockdown have experienced PTSD.«

Advice to Management
»You can’t run a business on goodwill when the goodwill dries up.«

PHEW!

The advice to management would have been a quote of the day I’d chosen. And this is exactly what CEO Pano Christou’s problem is. He has his head in the sand and is stuck in the past. He runs Pret the old way and thinks that sweet-talk and brainwash will continue to float the ship, while not realizing that the ship has run into an iceberg and is slowly tilting!

This review is one of those reviews that has me in tears! Please be safe, value yourself, aim for a better job that you deserve. Life is short.

Link to review on Glassdoor.

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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.

Pret A Manger Staff Emails

As current and former Pret staff contact me, at times I want to post their words on my blog, always with their permission.

A recent email in which I keep out certain information [deleted content], as they are too specific and may identify the person, like the shop they mention or their position or a specific incident with management, or the exact time they’re working at Pret etc. But here a few words verbatim:

“Hello,

I am just discovering your blog; first of all, hope things are getting better for you, on a personal level.

There is so much to go through, but so far what strikes me is that what was said 3 + years ago about pret, is still so very true. … [deleted content] … What I seen and experienced in just about [few] months at pret, I have never experienced it anywhere, and all I’ve read so far from your blog is still very accurate. I am thinking about … [deleted content] …
Kind Regards,”
Current Pret Front-line Employee

I totally agree with what the person wrote in regards to never having seen/experienced anything like this anywhere else what we experience(d) at Pret. I worked most of my life in the hospitality industry, in 3 different countries. I’ve never ever experienced the micromanagement, emotional abuse, exploitation and sheer toxic environment than at Pret.

I had to learn to respect myself and stay out of this type of environment. In my case I had to learn it the hard way as I kept questioning my own feelings. And Pret took advantage of that. In my case the top leadership and HR got involved. For any new reader, my story is scattered throughout my blog on every page at the bottom audio player interview.

To the person who emailed me with above words, thank you for permitting me to publish, and like I wrote already to you and to all others, join a union, leave a review on both Glassdoor AND Indeed (even in your own language to help your country women & men understand fully).

One of many former staff words, on reddit for example:

Link to reddit post

Link

A recent Tweet regarding sexual harassment has since been deleted. But any staff who goes public on social media is desperate for things to get resolved, but out of fear staff then withdraw complaints, especially while still working at Pret, understandably:

etc. etc. etc. I have listed countless staff reviews and complaints as well as customer observations. But I want to keep posts short as I’ve written enough for 3.5 years.

Some other selected emails by staff:

Pret don’t care about anyone

No training but expected to do the job without mistakes

And to Pret customers, contact consumer rights groups when you run into problems regarding the coffee subscription, pest problems and other issues.

A small overview of issues at Pret on YouTube. But issues are much bigger and persistent, this is just a small overview:

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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.

Pret Perks – Pret A Manger’s FIRST Ever Loyalty Scheme? Yeah Right!

Here’s Pret again trying to get customer data but not deliver on their deal.

Marketing companies on Pret’s behalf advertise Pret’s “first ever” loyalty scheme!

Oooh baby! Who knew that Pret’s loyalty card system goes back to at least 2012!!!

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Pret Loyalty Card 2012-09-13

Link to 2012

Terms and conditions at the bottom of this below Loyalty Card:

“Redeemable at the Manager’s discretion. Excludes Pret shops within Central London Zones 1 and 2…”

It even has an expiry date on it, forcing the customer to buy coffees before that date to get a free one … and at the manager’s discretion mind you! Pret showing its true “generosity” here!

Pret Loyalty Card 2012-03-29

Link to 2012

2017 Pret Loyalty Card

Link to a 2017 Tweet

And Paris 2019 from Instagram:

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So, marketing companies, try again!

And here’s how Pret’s ripping customer off via the new “first ever” Pret perks loyalty scheme, how their rip off works:

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How it REALLY works:

Link

Same with the Mince Pie offer:

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Link to Instagram post from yesterday.

Facebook:

I’ll spare the readers with more screenshots and links to Pret’s rip-offs. Do your own homework if you truly care!

But just to say that the Pret Perks (which used to be what they called “Pret Perks” for Pret staff with rebates from other companies) is NOT a first ever loyalty program for loyal customers. Pret had loyalty cards as you can see above, as far back as 2012, probably longer. But these loyalty cards were only available outside big cities and Pret kept it really quiet.

So, here you go with another Pret shadiness.

And also, to the WordPress staff who check every post I post after Pret contacted WordPress, and you’re instrumental of getting my blog moved to the adult section where porn sites are moved to. You will be found out as censorship on WordPress will be exposed. I’m not doing anything wrong. I exercise free speech and whistle-blowing. You will be found out and expose as well.

DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

If you would like to donate, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

£10.00

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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.

.
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.

Pret A Manger Customer Voices, Boycotts, Outrage

… just within the last 6 months alone!

Via YouTube.

Pret having abandoned burnt-out staff and loyal customers to increase profit:

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Boycott in support of minimum-wage staff:

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Recent new staff reviews on Pret having gone downhill and Loose Women Presenter Nadia Sawahla’s stern words to Pret:

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Customer complaints on hardly ever getting the expensive iced drinks that are advertised on the subscription since the sub started last year:

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Customers unable to cancel the subscription, and if they managed to cancel including receiving a cancellation email, Pret continues to withdraw money:

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To be continued unfortunately!

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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.

.
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.

Pret A Manger Abandoned their Staff & Customers

Via YouTube:

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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.

.
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.

Free Speech does NOT exist on Media Platforms

Since I’ve been writing openly on Pret A Manger issues from a behind the scenes look with my own horrific experiences and other staff complaints directly to me and on review sites, I’ve been asked by many people WHY these issues aren’t more known in the public.

Simple answer: free speech does not exists on social media platforms, with mainstream media and with Wikipedia etc. Censorship is rampant on platforms.

It shows how Pret fears the truth getting out and how mainstream media and social media platforms assist big brands from exposure. I’d need a Ronan Farrow type journalist who cares about the truth getting out!

Here’s an example of how many customers are gobsmacked that they never heard about the issues in Pret. And here via the YouTube slide I ONLY included Tweets, I did not even bother to include Facebook posts/messages, Insta, private mails via my contact form etc. etc. If I’d include all, the slide would be over an hour:

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Examples of censorship:

Facebook and now Instagram that is under FB have completely blocked my website. If you enter a complete url from any of my pages here even into a Facebook PRIVATE mail, you will receive a message that this page goes against some rules etc. That’s why I started YouTube slides that FB/IG can’t block. I also link to Tweets etc. where my blog is linked to and people then can go directly via Twitter to a specific blog post that I post. And if FB shut me down, I will find another way. But Pret & Co will not be able to silence me!

Twitter:

Since 2018 when I started to publicly call out Pret, Pret that can’t sue me for libel as I have 1. evidence and 2. I declined 4 NDAs from Pret. All they can do is report me to the social media platforms to get censored or what is called “shadow banned”. Twitter then hides my Tweets and my Twitter account altogether where people can’t find my Tweets even when specifically searching for it. To check if you are shadow banned (censored) on Twitter, please visit www.ShadowBan.eu or if that site is down then www.ShadowBan.io .

Twitter heavily shadow banning has forced me to have several Twitter accounts, which is allowed on Twitter. You can even merge several Twitter accounts.

Taliban members and pornographic images are on Twitter. Facebook has heavy criticism on their dodgy actions. But hey, lets censor a nobody, a female who has written the most comprehensive website on Pret A Manger. Nothing new under the sun!

Put my Twitter handle @LateNightGirlMe (now changed to @expretDOTorg) into Twitter search and click on “Latest”. You will only find a few recent Tweets but not ALL of the latest Tweets. Compare this by going to my handle directly and click on “Tweets and Replies” for truly the latest Tweets, you’ll see ALL the recent Tweets than the Twitter algorithm are programmed to leave out randomly, even when I’m NOT shadow banned.

Linkedin:

People on Linkedin are die-hard Pret fans! They don’t want to hear the truth and they reported me to Linkedin. Linkedin then locks my account and wants me to send my ID! This has become increasingly an issue on social media as they are breaching data constantly. Facebook is the prime example of this. Pret know me! They know who is behind expret.org, but social media increasingly try to get private data and if they can’t force it, they lock accounts. Same with Twitter and phone numbers.

Linkedin is mainly into toxic positivity where rich business people tell each other sweet little nothings all day. It’s very rare to read critical voices on there, except when an official news report is out. But when I as a former Pret staff with FIRST HAND experience link to a critical issue on Pret, even if I link to a newspaper article, not even to my blog, BOOM! my account is locked after they report me to Linkedin.

The Press:

I have been contacted by many journalists and have contacted hundreds of journos directly and also copied in many on Twitter etc. Some journalists were very interested to report on certain issues (as I cover a lot of various issues in Pret, not just staff issues). But here I have to give a heads up, it is partly MY FAULT that they did not report because I’ve had these terrible outbursts while drunk. I speak openly about it and am still waiting for help via NHS mental help services as well as doing everything I can to recover.

I have lashed out at EVERYBODY, no matter who they were. I continue to apologize and hope people are ok. I accept the consequences as this is solely my fault and something I will always be ashamed about.

One journalists, Will Bedingfield from Wired wrote an article with a click-bait title of “The Rise and Fall” of Pret”. He wrote that 2 days after I tweeted a response to him with some facts. After he published the article I called him out and he deleted his initial Tweet. And his article wasn’t even anything deep and certainly not new. It was just a typical “lazy” report with a catchy title to put under his portfolio belt:

Link to my Tweet under his deleted Tweet.

My Tweet calling him out and then he deleted his initial Tweet.

These and other reports that HAVE been reported with my help have never been credited back to me. The only 2 people I will ALWAYS credit as having reported on my experience and blog are Adam from The Adam Paradox Podcast, based in California who interviewed me in 2018. And Gregor Gall, editor from the Scottish Left Review who published TWO of my posts.

Any other journalist just publishes without giving credit WHO put them on Pret’s case in the first place and who fed them all the info. They just say to me “Thank you for you help…” And that was that! And I did “kick off” many even high profile journos from the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, BBC etc. because I was tired for journoalists to sit on my following waiting for a story to drop into their laps, while some ignored or ghosted me after my DMs to them!

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Etc. etc. etc.

And Pret apparently is asking journalists who contact Pret to verify if they know me, to NOT report on my blog! And they “obey”. There you go.

But yes, my outbursts didn’t and don’t help, but if a journo really wants to expose wrongdoing in Pret, they won’t be deterred by my traumatized behaviour.

On my Media page I linked to the reports that came out from my blog having either contacted or having been contacted by journalists who then reported.

WordPress:

WordPress has moved my blog into the adult section where they usually move pornographic sites. The reason they gave me was that I use curse words. But I linked to them a few of the many WordPress websites where people use heavy language, worse than me. So, even as a paying customer WordPress censors under the “adult content” umbrella. It means that WordPress users who are logged in cannot find my blog when they search for anything Pret A Manger related.

Wikipedia:

Mid November someone has linked my blog to Pret’s Wikipedia page as approved editors can edit open source pages. Screenshot below. I saw a referrer from Wiki on 18.11.2021 for the first time. I then contacted the main editor Edward Betts who started Pret’s Wiki page, and informed him that there are some out-dated infos and a mistake on that Wiki page, which I can send him updates with evidence. He then promptly deleted my link again from Wikipedia the next day as I had last referrers from Wiki on 19.11.2021.

Whoever linked my blog to Wikipedia, thank you! Sorry, censorship has gotten the better yet again. So, lets keep the mistake and out-dated infos on that page and not donate to Wiki on their annual donation efforts. Edward Betts/Wikipedia take info from my blog without crediting back. And this is why so many people on social media asked me why the public isn’t aware of the problems in Pret. That’s why. Mainstream media and even open source pages censor whistleblowers and protect companies.

The clever thing that journalists and now Wikipedia editors do is, they skim through my website and take all my research that I did, where I found press articles or where I am leaked info where I link to press reports. They then take these press articles which they never found on their own before except linked on my page, and then use this on their Wiki page so as not to have to cite my blog as a source. Thus, the press and Wikipedia continue to ignore people who have first hand experience because they bow to Pret and companies like that.

Journalists and writers in general are the biggest thieves of intellectual property and research. So, Pret will be delighted with my short-lived link on Wikipedia.

Screenshots:

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Censorship is alive and well. Free speech and giving sources to original whistle blowers is dead. And only when people die, do the press and writers in general, swarm over their writings and steal and write on it like there’s no tomorrow! Writers are the biggest thieves of intellectual property and sources than any other “art” form I know of.

Rappers are known for nicking tunes and remix them, but writers are the worst when it comes to taking material without crediting. Now in a much more clever way.

So, my work continues unpaid, un-credited …

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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.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Julian Metcalfe in Jeffrey Epstein’s Address Book

UPDATE 29.11.2021

As the Ghislaine Maxwell trial started today and the UK media remains silent after I sent the below to the press, and Maxwell’s camp tried hard to keep evidence out of court, I re-post this again and again!

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So here I am, minding my own business when I receive an email from an anonymous person with a link to page 38 for a “black book” of none other then convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who some believe may have been “suicided”. As I am contacted by former and current Pret staff, as well as now itsu issues that I pass on to the press, and at times it gets reported on, I get info as my blog is the main link between behind the scenes of Pret/itsu and the public/press.

So, the black address book of Epstein, what names do I see?

Pret A Manger co-“re”-founder and itsu founder, net-worth £215 million, Julian Metcalfe and his former wife Melanie with two addresses and phone numbers.

Of course it’s not a crime to be in a convicted pedophile & sex trafficker’s address book. And to be fair, Metcalfe was married to Melanie between 1992 and 2005. The first allegation on Epstein to police came in 2005, so technically people didn’t/couldn’t know about Epstein’s crimes. But still! Itsu staff have reviewed Metcalfe as sexist, racist, aggressive etc. (see YouTube below). Metcalfe comes from a long line of elite British folk and grew up wealthy and privileged. And in an interview with the Telegraph in July 2021 Metcalfe’s words are headlined with “Only the fittest will survive high street cull”.

This is very much in line with Metcalfe’s words to the Daily Mail last year regarding lock-down and being happy to sacrifice a few thousand very old and vulnerable people for the hospitality industry (again, please see YouTube below).

So, only Metcalfe knows why he is in Epstein’s infamous “black book” that has Ghislane Maxwell shake in her boots! And it doesn’t need to mean anything. But I find it noteworthy to mention after Metcalfe’s own aggressive words to the press (and other words that he deleted after I confronted him on Twitter), and what others say about him.

Quote from the Western Journal: »Epstein employee Alfredo Rodriguez called the list the “Holy Grail” or “Golden Nugget” that would map out the billionaire’s alleged underage sex network. Rodriguez first tried to sell it to journalists; instead, authorities seized it as evidence.«

About the black book via CNBC: The big names in Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Black Book’

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Page 38:

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Link

I was sent this because I chased Metcalfe off Twitter last year and put it on a YouTube slide where I explained why Pret can’t be distanced to Metcalfe, after Pret made a statement of distancing themselves when Metcalfe made his appalling “eugenicist” lock-down comments to none other than the Daily Mail tabloid of all papers! Dumb move! After I chased him off Twitter, he’s become a little more media savvy now!

On his 2 day Twitter stint, I posted itsu staff reviews to Metcalfe where he is alleged to be sexist, racist, aggressive etc. Metcalfe continued his dumbness by RT’ing my Tweets to him! I suppose someone from Pret then must have warned him of who I am, as he then deleted his Twitter account the next day after only 2 days there, not knowing I already made screenshots!

I even tweeted at him saying, “will see how long you can hold on Twitter”, never thinking he lasted only 2 days, as other Pret execs ran off Twitter since I exposed Pret there.

His deletedTweets:

I use YouTube as my blog url is blocked completely on Facebook/Instagram even in private messages! But they can’t block YouTube!

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Little side note: Former Pret CEO Clive Schlee is very close friends and business partner with Julian Metcalfe. And Schlee is on the board of directors and owns half of itsu. But no, Schlee isn’t in Epstein’s address book, I’ve already checked! 😉

And a little piece about one of the phone books, as there is more than 1 it seems:


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DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

If you would like to donate, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

£10.00

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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 (a close friend & business partner of Julian Metcalfe who also owns half of Metcalfe’s company itsu). 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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

.

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.

Pret A Manger’s Lip needs a Tuck

I’m going to keep this one short as it gets boring!

A news article just came out that a second Pret shop in Bristol suddenly closed.

Britsol Post article: “Bristol branch of Pret A Manger closes doors suddenly“.

The notice at the door states the usual: “We’re having a quick nip & tuck”. But here I explain why this is a lie.

  1. When Pret does a quick “nip & tuck” and EVEN a massive refurbishment, they would NEVER EVER EVER close a shop for business and lose money. And they would NEVER close a shop “suddenly” for a refurbishment. Staff and customers are always warned in advance that some disturbances will take place, but that business will run as usual!

    In my 10 years in Pret I worked through about 3 – 4 refurbishments in different Pret shops of all sizes, even the quiet ones. And I witnessed many more in neighbouring shops where colleagues of that shop continued to work during the day. Refurbishment, even the big ones are ALWAYS done over night and on weekends for those shops that are closed on weekends anyway.

    Even the large refurbishments take no longer than 3 – 4 days as builders work through the nights. Pret NEVER closes a shop during the day even while in refurbishment, as closing shops for “nip & tuck” would lose them money! I explain this in detail here: Pret shops closed, I smell a rat.


  2. The note directly next to the “nip & tuck” note indicates this! If there was a small refurb going on, that would mean that builders or repair workers were inside the premises during the day and/or night as they were doing a nip & tuck! This means they would see if there was damage or a maintenance issue!

Pret not only lies about the nip and tuck, they also have the audacity to “employ” the public to report a damage or maintenance issue and act as security guards! A typed out template where Pret staff just hand write the shop number in, shows how organized and premeditated this is.
Side-note: The shop number here is not the number of the street address but the number of the shop Pret opened. In this case this is Pret’s 346th shop they opened.

Usually Pret give staff shortage as reason for a closed shop. While this is partially true, as Pret has sacked a lot of people, as well as staff having walked out due to the worsened exploitation, Pret even deletes former staff comments on social media. But from knowing Pret and how they lie about things, I smell a Covid outbreak!

Only one news outlet got wind of a Covid outbreak in a Pret shop in Norwich and reported on it. Pret would never tell the public that they had a Coronavirus outbreak. Just like they didn’t tell the public that they had 2 customers die from hidden allergen and at least 10 allergen injuries we know of.

I also suspect that it is financially better for Pret to close shops as a customer on Facebook once told me that Pret now do sandwiches off-side and distribute to shops.

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Journalists should dig a little deeper than just put out a quick article with some bogus notices on the door!! And journos should LISTEN to former and current staff when they spill the beans on something behind the scenes!

I share excerpts of a private message exchange I had with another former Pret staff about staff having contracted Covid, and Pret doing absolutely nothing about it: Pret staff tested positive for Covid

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Image Bristol Live

UPDATE 28.12.2021

An observant customer noticed:

Link

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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.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Pret A “Manager” received the ‘Digital Technology Leaders’ Award

… even though they present ongoing “technical issues” with their subscription, QR codes not sent, QR codes can’t be added to Apple app or can’t be read in-store, a recent new excuse is that Pret supposedly is waiting for payment to come through while customers are waiting for DAYS for their QR codes etc. etc. Customer service is not available via email, phone, DM … and many customers are appalled at the poor customer service!

Here’s to the parallel universe executives as well as social media platforms live in!

On Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, critical voices are quickly shut down. Executives, business people and office staff mingle to tell each other sweet little nothings, while Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are on fire with customer and staff complaints!

Hey, let’s keep living in these parallel universes and on the top level keep giving each other awards for doing absolutely nothing constructive except to stroke their own egos!

Quote from PA Consulting on Linkedin: “We’re proud to have supported Pret A Manger in accelerating the transformation of their digital customer experience. Congratulations to the team on a well-earned win at Computing’s Digital Technology Leaders Awards…”

So, if the reader would scroll down to only some of the MANY MANY customer complaints on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook on Pret A “Manager’s” appalling customer service, technical issues etc. and leave the Linkedin folks up in La La Land to keep scratching each others’ ego! These award things are a smoke-screen of what’s really going on behind the facade. Pret’s always been like this. Head office has awards lined up while we staff felt disgusted at their PR bullcrap.

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And just a few of the many sweet-talk responses on how awesome Pret is etc. One has to wonder if people “up there” are really just delusional or having a laugh on the backs of customers and low-wage front-line shop staff!

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“… a company that knows a lot about client satisfaction and customer experience.”

Above is the Linkedin version of Pret’s client satisfaction and customer experience. Below is the real world! I only post a few of the countless angry complaints, as this post is already long.

Instagram:

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Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

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April 2021:

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A customer who cancelled his subscription because of ongoing bad customer service.

Link

Facebook:

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A rare customer tenacity who stays with it like a dog to the bone!

Pret’s doing it again, this time a new lie emerges: “Payment hasn’t gone through yet”.

I will try to keep this as short as possible, only posting a handful of the MANY complaints regarding Pret’s coffee subscription.

If people put the following into Twitter search and click “latest” scrolling down and down and down:

@pret qr

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Go down weeks and month where subscription customers have problems with the QR code. Pret delays sending the QR code and customers give Pret the benefit of the doubt, thinking it’s just them this happens to AND it’s just a technical glitch. Or customers do have the code but the device in the shop can’t read it for … yep, you guessed it, another technical issue.

And yet these glitches keep going on since the subscription started last year, and a company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT many technical issues!

Pret also installed donation payment devises which many customers in a rush mistake for payment devices. Customers then “pay” and are prompted to touch the payment device as the payment didn’t get through! Customers donate £5+ not realizing until prompted again. Interesting that the donation devices ALWAYS work! 😉

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UPDATE 01.11.2021

THREE devices for “payment” and customers make a quick mistake in the busy, hectic, noisy environment.

.

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Customers then don’t get a response via email or phone when trying to get a refund! Also note the psychology here! I bet that MANY customers who accidentally donate to the Pret Foundation Trust probably don’t raise this to get a refund as they may feel they don’t appear charitable!

Pret should get seriously investigated not only for the shady practices with the subscription, but also where the money donated to the PFT actually really goes to! Pret is trying to get cash at every turn possible which some I will list at the bottom. It’s also interesting that this “payment issue” happens towards the middle to end of the week so Pret can use the weekend to say their social media team is off or low on staff and banks are closed during the weekend.

And as usual, after the “technical issue” is fixed, grass will quickly grow over it and customers are very forgiving while Pret made a quick buck again ripping customers off again and again and again …

So, today’s lie regarding the QR code delay is that the payment hasn’t gone through yet, even though some customers have been waiting for days. Many people give Pret the benefit of the doubt and PAY in-store for a coffee. Some are lucky and get a free coffee (not free as they already paid for it via the sub). But many others end up paying.

Only a few of today’s complaints and many more since months:

.

.

.

.

.

From the usual technical issues, Pret now switch to the “payment not gone through” version. I’m telling customers to do what a man did in 2009 when he invoiced Pret and other companies for waiting too long in queues. Pret played along, having a laugh as Pret at the time had soaring profit. When I first came across this in 2018 the Telegraph article was still open without having to sign up, but I either missed taking screenshots of the man’s invoice to Pret and Pret’s response letter and PAYMENT, or I can’t find it at the moment. But I remember the man meticulously listing the times he spent in each company and shops to the minute.

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

So, to all QR-code-delay victims, organize with other “fraud victims” and send Pret an invoice on how many days, hours and minutes you had to wait for your QR code AND how long you had to wait in the queue to get your drink!

You never know, maybe another news article comes out of it! The Telegraph article:

.

Link to article.

And here a small list of other issues where Pret tries to keep or get cash.

I use YouTube as well for several reasons, one is that my blog is completely blocked/censored on Facebook and Instagram after Pret or a die-hard Pret fan reported me. Even PRIVATE messages on FB are immediately blocked/deleted by FB when I put the url to my blog in a message! But I can post YT and Twitter and other links. Two, some people don’t like to read long blog posts, so I try to make it more accessible if people don’t want to read too much.

  • No expensive iced drinks on the sub (and I suspect now Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate etc. under the “supplier issue” version). Via YouTube:

.

  • And during the summer when people did manage to get an iced drink, often by PAYING mind you, Pret provided it in either 12oz or then newly ordered 14oz CHEAPER paper cups and not in the more expensive larger 16oz plastic cups with “dome” lids for cream.

    If a customer is lucky to get the complimentary cream on top, the drink will be even smaller as the lid is flatter. Pret supposedly had “supplier issues” of the 16oz cups while not having supplier issues of the new 14oz paper cups. Do an estimate on how many thousands of customers get cheated out of 2-4oz. Like Tesco say: “every little helps”! When I worked at Pret we were ALWAYS instructed to say “supplier issues” or “missing delivery” when items weren’t there, even if the reason was different like a product recall etc.

    The plastic cups are back now as Pret can’t keep this on forever, but it went on for many weeks. Just one of MANY complaints:

  • Hard to cancel the subscription, and IF customers manage to cancel and receive confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret continues to withdraw £20 subscription fee even in months to come. I alway advise people to also cancel the direct debit with their bank as soon as they received the confirmation email of the cancellation. They can show the cancellation to their bank and request that all future payments get blocked/cancelled, otherwise customers turn into monthly donors to Pret.

    Also Pret did a mess-up with the expiry dates, especially in the beginning of the sub. For example if a customer received the expiry date as 16. October 2021, it really actually expired TODAY and automatically renewed. The customer thought the date is tomorrow and that they have today to cancel their first month free trial/free month, while it already renewed and Pret again blamed some technical issue!


    Customers are send into a loop trying to cancel and trying to get a refund, but no reply, phone is not picked up or the phone number isn’t recognized, of if customers get through to customer service, the phone call is suddenly disconnected, yada yada yada! Good ole rip-off!

    This guy screenshot the loop-rollercoaster he’s been on:

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

.

  • Pret doesn’t only cheat customers out of their dough! Cutting wages, bonus, benefits, even wage theft leading some caring customers not only to boycott Pret, but many have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again! Pret is now a minimum-wage employer and have recently been named and shamed by the UK Government amongst 190 other companies for paying UNDER the minimum-wage! Via YouTube:

.

  • Pret now censors directly, deleting former staff comments on Instagram and Facebook, and disabling the comment section under their “we’re hiring” posts. But I grabbed some screenshots before Pret shut it down. Plus Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret: Last Minute?? Staff Disruptions

.

  • Also, going back to the Pret Foundation Trust donations, CEO Pano Christou did his usual “charity” stunt by having announced he’d be running the half-marathon in Hackney to raise funds for the PFT and to “alleviate poverty”. But he tops it by wanting donations from his minimum-wage, poverty stricken front-line staff after he cut their wages, bonus, benefits etc. The very staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on the front-lines, risking their lives, while executives and HQ staff worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned HQ.

    Some staff got Covid and Pret did NOTHING as revealed to me by a former staff on Facebook. Shop staff are getting pooped on like the Government poops on NHS staff! Pano Christou has no shame whatsoever! And I QUESTION where the money goes to because Pret has other problems right now than raising donations for the poor! I just don’t buy it!

    And asking his LOWEST paid staff for donations, AFTER cutting their wages and other things, is utterly disgusting and rotten to the core!


    Detail here: Pret A Manger’s “Charity” Projects.

.

  • Many Pret shops in city centers are closed down, or open later and close earlier than the advertised opening times. Pret gives the main reason as staff shortages. While this is one part of the reason as Pret has fired 3000 and many staff walked out as well, another reason may be that as Pret is opening 200 shops outside city centers, closing shops in cities helps Pret finance new shop openings. Why is that a rip-off for customers? Just two of countless complaints on Pret’s different social media platforms:

.

.

Instead of Pret listing the shops that are closed on their website or warn customers to check if their local Pret is open before signing up, Pret continues to sell the subscription that many people can’t use as their local shops are closed. Katchink!

And there are other “rip-offs”, some of which I posted here: Pret is INDEED trying anything to survive

To end this long post I couldn’t keep short again, a real Pret Mystery Shopper report with most of then 32 micromanaging questions staff are patronized with every week. Staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact, have spotless shops or the whole team don’t get the bonus. If ONE staff makes a mistake, the whole team get penalized by not getting bonus. If ONE kisses butt extra special like giving a free coffee, cookie or lunch, the Mystery Shopper “may” (or may not!) reward that one staff with the £100 cash reward, even when the whole shop lost the regular £1 per hour bonus. Happened here:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Pret A “Manager” got a Digital Technology Award

… even though they present ongoing “technical issues” with their subscription, QR codes not sent, QR codes can’t be added to Apple app or can’t be read in-store, a recent new excuse is that Pret supposedly is waiting for payment to come through while customers are waiting for DAYS for their QR codes etc. etc. Customer service is not available via email, phone, DM … and many customers are appalled at the poor customer service!

Here’s to the parallel universe executives as well as social media platforms live in!

On Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, critical voices are quickly shut down. Executives, business people and office staff mingle to tell each other sweet little nothings, while Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are on fire with customer and staff complaints!

Hey, let’s keep living in these parallel universes and on the top level keep giving each other awards for doing absolutely nothing constructive except to stroke their own egos!

Quote from PA Consulting on Linkedin: “We’re proud to have supported Pret A Manger in accelerating the transformation of their digital customer experience. Congratulations to the team on a well-earned win at Computing’s Digital Technology Leaders Awards…”

So, if the reader would scroll down to only some of the MANY MANY customer complaints on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook on Pret A “Manager’s” appalling customer service, technical issues etc. and leave the Linkedin folks up in La La Land to keep scratching each others’ ego! These award things are a smoke-screen of what’s really going on behind the facade. Pret’s always been like this. Head office has awards lined up while we staff felt disgusted at their PR bullcrap.

.

.

.

And just a few of the many sweet-talk responses on how awesome Pret is etc. One has to wonder if people “up there” are really just delusional or having a laugh on the backs of customers and low-wage front-line shop staff!

.

“… a company that knows a lot about client satisfaction and customer experience.”

Above is the Linkedin version of Pret’s client satisfaction and customer experience. Below is the real world! I only post a few of the countless angry complaints, as this post is already long.

Instagram:

.

.

.

Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

.

April 2021:

.

A customer who cancelled his subscription because of ongoing bad customer service.

Link

Facebook:

.

.

A rare customer tenacity who stays with it like a dog to the bone!

Pret’s doing it again, this time a new lie emerges: “Payment hasn’t gone through yet”.

I will try to keep this as short as possible, only posting a handful of the MANY complaints regarding Pret’s coffee subscription.

If people put the following into Twitter search and click “latest” scrolling down and down and down:

@pret qr

.

.

Go down weeks and month where subscription customers have problems with the QR code. Pret delays sending the QR code and customers give Pret the benefit of the doubt, thinking it’s just them this happens to AND it’s just a technical glitch. Or customers do have the code but the device in the shop can’t read it for … yep, you guessed it, another technical issue.

And yet these glitches keep going on since the subscription started last year, and a company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT many technical issues!

Pret also installed donation payment devises which many customers in a rush mistake for payment devices. Customers then “pay” and are prompted to touch the payment device as the payment didn’t get through! Customers donate £5+ not realizing until prompted again. Interesting that the donation devices ALWAYS work! 😉

.

.

UPDATE 01.11.2021

THREE devices for “payment” and customers make a quick mistake in the busy, hectic, noisy environment.

.

.

Customers then don’t get a response via email or phone when trying to get a refund! Also note the psychology here! I bet that MANY customers who accidentally donate to the Pret Foundation Trust probably don’t raise this to get a refund as they may feel they don’t appear charitable!

Pret should get seriously investigated not only for the shady practices with the subscription, but also where the money donated to the PFT actually really goes to! Pret is trying to get cash at every turn possible which some I will list at the bottom. It’s also interesting that this “payment issue” happens towards the middle to end of the week so Pret can use the weekend to say their social media team is off or low on staff and banks are closed during the weekend.

And as usual, after the “technical issue” is fixed, grass will quickly grow over it and customers are very forgiving while Pret made a quick buck again ripping customers off again and again and again …

So, today’s lie regarding the QR code delay is that the payment hasn’t gone through yet, even though some customers have been waiting for days. Many people give Pret the benefit of the doubt and PAY in-store for a coffee. Some are lucky and get a free coffee (not free as they already paid for it via the sub). But many others end up paying.

Only a few of today’s complaints and many more since months:

.

.

.

.

.

From the usual technical issues, Pret now switch to the “payment not gone through” version. I’m telling customers to do what a man did in 2009 when he invoiced Pret and other companies for waiting too long in queues. Pret played along, having a laugh as Pret at the time had soaring profit. When I first came across this in 2018 the Telegraph article was still open without having to sign up, but I either missed taking screenshots of the man’s invoice to Pret and Pret’s response letter and PAYMENT, or I can’t find it at the moment. But I remember the man meticulously listing the times he spent in each company and shops to the minute.

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

So, to all QR-code-delay victims, organize with other “fraud victims” and send Pret an invoice on how many days, hours and minutes you had to wait for your QR code AND how long you had to wait in the queue to get your drink!

You never know, maybe another news article comes out of it! The Telegraph article:

.

Link to article.

And here a small list of other issues where Pret tries to keep or get cash.

I use YouTube as well for several reasons, one is that my blog is completely blocked/censored on Facebook and Instagram after Pret or a die-hard Pret fan reported me. Even PRIVATE messages on FB are immediately blocked/deleted by FB when I put the url to my blog in a message! But I can post YT and Twitter and other links. Two, some people don’t like to read long blog posts, so I try to make it more accessible if people don’t want to read too much.

  • No expensive iced drinks on the sub (and I suspect now Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate etc. under the “supplier issue” version). Via YouTube:

.

  • And during the summer when people did manage to get an iced drink, often by PAYING mind you, Pret provided it in either 12oz or then newly ordered 14oz CHEAPER paper cups and not in the more expensive larger 16oz plastic cups with “dome” lids for cream.

    If a customer is lucky to get the complimentary cream on top, the drink will be even smaller as the lid is flatter. Pret supposedly had “supplier issues” of the 16oz cups while not having supplier issues of the new 14oz paper cups. Do an estimate on how many thousands of customers get cheated out of 2-4oz. Like Tesco say: “every little helps”! When I worked at Pret we were ALWAYS instructed to say “supplier issues” or “missing delivery” when items weren’t there, even if the reason was different like a product recall etc.

    The plastic cups are back now as Pret can’t keep this on forever, but it went on for many weeks. Just one of MANY complaints:

  • Hard to cancel the subscription, and IF customers manage to cancel and receive confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret continues to withdraw £20 subscription fee even in months to come. I alway advise people to also cancel the direct debit with their bank as soon as they received the confirmation email of the cancellation. They can show the cancellation to their bank and request that all future payments get blocked/cancelled, otherwise customers turn into monthly donors to Pret.

    Also Pret did a mess-up with the expiry dates, especially in the beginning of the sub. For example if a customer received the expiry date as 16. October 2021, it really actually expired TODAY and automatically renewed. The customer thought the date is tomorrow and that they have today to cancel their first month free trial/free month, while it already renewed and Pret again blamed some technical issue!


    Customers are send into a loop trying to cancel and trying to get a refund, but no reply, phone is not picked up or the phone number isn’t recognized, of if customers get through to customer service, the phone call is suddenly disconnected, yada yada yada! Good ole rip-off!

    This guy screenshot the loop-rollercoaster he’s been on:

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

.

  • Pret doesn’t only cheat customers out of their dough! Cutting wages, bonus, benefits, even wage theft leading some caring customers not only to boycott Pret, but many have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again! Pret is now a minimum-wage employer and have recently been named and shamed by the UK Government amongst 190 other companies for paying UNDER the minimum-wage! Via YouTube:

.

  • Pret now censors directly, deleting former staff comments on Instagram and Facebook, and disabling the comment section under their “we’re hiring” posts. But I grabbed some screenshots before Pret shut it down. Plus Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret: Last Minute?? Staff Disruptions

.

  • Also, going back to the Pret Foundation Trust donations, CEO Pano Christou did his usual “charity” stunt by having announced he’d be running the half-marathon in Hackney to raise funds for the PFT and to “alleviate poverty”. But he tops it by wanting donations from his minimum-wage, poverty stricken front-line staff after he cut their wages, bonus, benefits etc. The very staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on the front-lines, risking their lives, while executives and HQ staff worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned HQ.

    Some staff got Covid and Pret did NOTHING as revealed to me by a former staff on Facebook. Shop staff are getting pooped on like the Government poops on NHS staff! Pano Christou has no shame whatsoever! And I QUESTION where the money goes to because Pret has other problems right now than raising donations for the poor! I just don’t buy it!

    And asking his LOWEST paid staff for donations, AFTER cutting their wages and other things, is utterly disgusting and rotten to the core!


    Detail here: Pret A Manger’s “Charity” Projects.

.

  • Many Pret shops in city centers are closed down, or open later and close earlier than the advertised opening times. Pret gives the main reason as staff shortages. While this is one part of the reason as Pret has fired 3000 and many staff walked out as well, another reason may be that as Pret is opening 200 shops outside city centers, closing shops in cities helps Pret finance new shop openings. Why is that a rip-off for customers? Just two of countless complaints on Pret’s different social media platforms:

.

.

Instead of Pret listing the shops that are closed on their website or warn customers to check if their local Pret is open before signing up, Pret continues to sell the subscription that many people can’t use as their local shops are closed. Katchink!

And there are other “rip-offs”, some of which I posted here: Pret is INDEED trying anything to survive

To end this long post I couldn’t keep short again, a real Pret Mystery Shopper report with most of then 32 micromanaging questions staff are patronized with every week. Staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact, have spotless shops or the whole team don’t get the bonus. If ONE staff makes a mistake, the whole team get penalized by not getting bonus. If ONE kisses butt extra special like giving a free coffee, cookie or lunch, the Mystery Shopper “may” (or may not!) reward that one staff with the £100 cash reward, even when the whole shop lost the regular £1 per hour bonus. Happened here:

.

DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and I choose not to use ads

If you would like to donate, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

£10.00

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

Another #PretAManger Lie – QR Codes

A rare customer tenacity who stays with it like a dog to the bone!

Pret’s doing it again, this time a new lie emerges: “Payment hasn’t gone through yet”.

I will try to keep this as short as possible, only posting a handful of the MANY complaints regarding Pret’s coffee subscription.

If people put the following into Twitter search and click “latest” scrolling down and down and down:

@pret qr

.

.

Go down weeks and month where subscription customers have problems with the QR code. Pret delays sending the QR code and customers give Pret the benefit of the doubt, thinking it’s just them this happens to AND it’s just a technical glitch. Or customers do have the code but the device in the shop can’t read it for … yep, you guessed it, another technical issue.

And yet these glitches keep going on since the subscription started last year, and a company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT many technical issues!

Pret also installed donation payment devises which many customers in a rush mistake for payment devices. Customers then “pay” and are prompted to touch the payment device as the payment didn’t get through! Customers donate £5+ not realizing until prompted again. Interesting that the donation devices ALWAYS work! 😉

.

.

Customers then don’t get a response via email or phone when trying to get a refund! Also note the psychology here! I bet that MANY customers who accidentally donate to the Pret Foundation Trust probably don’t raise this to get a refund as they may feel they don’t appear charitable!

Pret should get seriously investigated not only for the shady practices with the subscription, but also where the money donated to the PFT actually really goes to! Pret is trying to get cash at every turn possible which some I will list at the bottom. It’s also interesting that this “payment issue” happens towards the middle to end of the week so Pret can use the weekend to say their social media team is off or low on staff and banks are closed during the weekend.

And as usual, after the “technical issue” is fixed, grass will quickly grow over it and customers are very forgiving while Pret made a quick buck again ripping customers off again and again and again …

So, today’s lie regarding the QR code delay is that the payment hasn’t gone through yet, even though some customers have been waiting for days. Many people give Pret the benefit of the doubt and PAY in-store for a coffee. Some are lucky and get a free coffee (not free as they already paid for it via the sub). But many others end up paying.

Only a few of today’s complaints and many more since months:

.

.

.

.

.

From the usual technical issues, Pret now switch to the “payment not gone through” version. I’m telling customers to do what a man did in 2009 when he invoiced Pret and other companies for waiting too long in queues. Pret played along, having a laugh as Pret at the time had soaring profit. When I first came across this in 2018 the Telegraph article was still open without having to sign up, but I either missed taking screenshots of the man’s invoice to Pret and Pret’s response letter and PAYMENT, or I can’t find it at the moment. But I remember the man meticulously listing the times he spent in each company and shops to the minute.

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

So, to all QR-code-delay victims, organize with other “fraud victims” and send Pret an invoice on how many days, hours and minutes you had to wait for your QR code AND how long you had to wait in the queue to get your drink!

You never know, maybe another news article comes out of it! The Telegraph article:

.

Link to article.

And here a small list of other issues where Pret tries to keep or get cash.

I use YouTube as well for several reasons, one is that my blog is completely blocked/censored on Facebook and Instagram after Pret or a die-hard Pret fan reported me. Even PRIVATE messages on FB are immediately blocked/deleted by FB when I put the url to my blog in a message! But I can post YT and Twitter and other links. Two, some people don’t like to read long blog posts, so I try to make it more accessible if people don’t want to read too much.

  • No expensive iced drinks on the sub (and I suspect now Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate etc. under the “supplier issue” version). Via YouTube:

.

  • And during the summer when people did manage to get an iced drink, often by PAYING mind you, Pret provided it in either 12oz or then newly ordered 14oz CHEAPER paper cups and not in the more expensive larger 16oz plastic cups with “dome” lids for cream.

    If a customer is lucky to get the complimentary cream on top, the drink will be even smaller as the lid is flatter. Pret supposedly had “supplier issues” of the 16oz cups while not having supplier issues of the new 14oz paper cups. Do an estimate on how many thousands of customers get cheated out of 2-4oz. Like Tesco say: “every little helps”! When I worked at Pret we were ALWAYS instructed to say “supplier issues” or “missing delivery” when items weren’t there, even if the reason was different like a product recall etc.

    The plastic cups are back now as Pret can’t keep this on forever, but it went on for many weeks. Just one of MANY complaints:

  • Hard to cancel the subscription, and IF customers manage to cancel and receive confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret continues to withdraw £20 subscription fee even in months to come. I alway advise people to also cancel the direct debit with their bank as soon as they received the confirmation email of the cancellation. They can show the cancellation to their bank and request that all future payments get blocked/cancelled, otherwise customers turn into monthly donors to Pret.

    Also Pret did a mess-up with the expiry dates, especially in the beginning of the sub. For example if a customer received the expiry date as 16. October 2021, it really actually expired TODAY and automatically renewed. The customer thought the date is tomorrow and that they have today to cancel their first month free trial/free month, while it already renewed and Pret again blamed some technical issue!


    Customers are send into a loop trying to cancel and trying to get a refund, but no reply, phone is not picked up or the phone number isn’t recognized, of if customers get through to customer service, the phone call is suddenly disconnected, yada yada yada! Good ole rip-off!

    This guy screenshot the loop-rollercoaster he’s been on:

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

.

.

.

One super angry, now former, customer on Instagram. I’ve read many angry customers’ comments, but this one I have to share: