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?

.

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?

.

.

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.

.

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.

.

Really?!

.

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!

.

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:

.


.

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 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:

.


.

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.

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:

.

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!

.

.

.

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:

.

.

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 …

.


.

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 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.

.

.

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

.

Image Bristol Live

UPDATE 28.12.2021

An observant customer noticed:

Link

.


.

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.

Last minute?? Staffing Disruption @ Pret A Manger 🤣😃😂.

A Tweet that unfortunately has been deleted, but is spot on!

I had a VERY proud day! A very, very proud day indeed!

After three and a half years of writing on Pret, mainly staff issues but also other issues, Pret has now disabled commenting for me on their Instagram and Facebook post from yesterday on “we’re hiring”! Why? Because I am causing too much staffing disruption! 💪😎👌

When I started writing in May 2018 former CEO Clive Schlee (whose Twitter account was deleted in July 2020) and Pret never blocked me. I mainly got shadow banned (censored, Tweets and account hidden from the public and from search), but they never blocked me. New CEO Pano Christou when he was the UK Managing Director and then COO blocked me. Christou then deleted his Twitter account in July 2019 when I tweeted the press about Schlee’s “retirement” and linked to Christou’s Twitter account on my blog. Another Pano Christou from Canada later took on the Twitter handle.

But I managed to grab a screenshot of Pano Christou blocking me!

It’s interesting in above former account that Pano wrote “@ Pret” instead of “@Pret” as if to distance himself.
To enlarge the screenshot press ctrl and +
And to decrease it again ctrl and

He blocked me and now “hides” on Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, and rich business people tell each other sweet little nothings while ignoring the plight of front-line staff who make them rich! Business people are huddled in their bubble on Linkedin knowing very well how they exploit low-wage staff for their own pockets. Even when I write nice and positive, Pano, Pret and die-hard Pret fans will get me shut down. So far to free speech and Pret’s “open door policiy” to tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly.

On 01. July 2019 Pano deleted his Twitter and later that year another @ChristouPano took that handle:

.

UPDATE November 2021!

As of 26th November 2021 I’m delighted to say that Pret has FINALLY blocked me on Twitter!!! As Pret shops are in shambles and countless customer complaints flood in which I keep posting on YouTube etc. they finally decided to slam the door! Muhahahahaaaa!!! 😎 🤭 🙂 🙃

And THIS is my last Tweet to Pret which made them block me! It took them 3.5 years to finally see that what I write is trouble for them! Thank you Pret!

But back to the staffing issue.

Why am I so happy that Pret now has disabled commenting for me on their “we’re hiring” post, even though other former staff write their negative experience? Because Pret’s very very desperate for staff and I’m rocking their boat too much.

I’m not sure if Pret completely deleted/hid comments on Instagram or if it’s just my account and computer that can’t see comments anymore. But I managed to grab some screenshots yesterday before Pret booted me out. On Facebook I’m not able to comment, but I can LIKE comments and in this way draw attention to my page! ‹^› (°_°) ‹^›

Instagram “we’re hiring” post with now 0 comments where before they had dozen comments: www.instagram.com/p/CUuE0NLMGio

One former staff replied to me before Pret shut it down, laughing about “flexible hours” and then saying,
I used to work there for 4 years until it pretty much broke me”.

Another former staff:

And many others that I missed taking screenshots as I didn’t expect Pret to shut it down! It’s the first time that I’m aware of Pret completely disabling and deleting/hiding all comments.

I haven’t checked Facebook today, but a few I grabbed yesterday and managed to “like” but can’t comment:

Quote: “Pret A Manger limited who can comment on this post.”

THANK YOU Pret for finally confirming that you have a lot to hide behind that smiley facade! How do they say in McDonald’s? “I’m loving it!” 😊

So, instead of reporting me, Pret now does the dirty work of censoring themselves! Wash your hands with soap for 30 seconds Pret!

And since Friday where it was 42 comments, Pret must have completely disabled comments now for all.

Some comments on Facebook that Pret leaves in as only good comments would look fishy. Also, see how many people “laugh” about it in the “like” section. Some I recognize as former staff, most likely all of them are former staff, one is even angry:

.

.

.

.

For people with visual impairment who can’t read screenshots I put a few quotes here that former staff commented on Facebook.

Pret advertises jobs as follows:

“Free Food
Great pay and benefits
Flexible Hours
Apprenticeship opportunities”

On Twitter I “translate” each point partly as follows:

Free Food – All if not most hospitality business, cafes, restaurants provide free food for staff.
Great pay and benefits – National minimum wage of £8.91 and less for people under 21.
Flexible Hours – 28 hour contracts but staff work 60 – 70 hours and are manipulated to work overtime without pay. Managers now are on 35 hour contracts (42.5 hours pre-Covid) but also work 60+ hours unpaid.
Apprenticeship opportunities – Young people are employed who get less pay and don’t know their rights.

After a strike action was announced by a brave staff member (who has since been silenced!) and the bad press that followed, one customer started an amazing feed on Twitter after having a VISUAL of the pay and “benefits”:

Link to Tweet.

And yesterday’s Facebook comments by former staff, each quote from a different person for anyone who can’t read the above screenshots:

“Worked for Pret, my life improved so much, [when] I left!!!!”

“If the pay is so great why not name it then?”

Response: “exactly when you start 8.20 (before tax) less than 30min break, “training” one week, shouting that staff are too slow, insults etc. If they ask for help, to stay longer IT’S FOR FREE”

“I have worked there for over 10 years. If you work extremely hard there is a career opportunity but I am glad I don’t work there anymore.”

Response: “extremely hard and you get extremely sick and mentally destroy…”

“I really feel sorry for staff who work on this company. I work before and NEVER again”

“modern slavery”

“Great pay and benefits? What a joke. Low pay, no, VERY LOW PAY and what are the benefits? None.”

“Great pay and benefits 😂😂😂

🤣🤣🤣🤣never back”

etc.

So, of course Pret now has “staffing disruption” and have disabled their comment section for me!

Here again 2 YouTube slides that Pret don’t want people to see. I use YouTube and Twitter links because my blog is completely blocked on Facebook and Instagram. But they can’t block YT and Twitter!

  1. Slide is the immense outpouring of love and support from customers, many who not only boycott but have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again:

2. Slide is with recent staff reviews that exploitation has gotten much worse and Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern message to Pret after the bad press that Pret cut wages. I watch her video on Instagram at times when I need a boost. Nadia has an almost 500K following on Instagram and more followers on Twitter than Pret has. I never knew who she was until I saw this on her Instagram under a Pret hashtag or mention. Nadia Sawalha, should you read this, apologies, but I don’t have TV and don’t watch much online stuff except some short-attention-span YouTube videos! But you’ve got this angry, insane person’s attention and all ears!

This powerhouse of a lady using her huge platform to make a strong and public stand for low-wage staff has me still in tears when I watch it!!! And the recent staff reviews here are very telling as usual!

.


.

Customers flock to Twitter and increasingly raise the issue of long queues, few staff and closed shops without notice, or with conflicting messages. Pret continues to sell the subscription which many customers can’t use as their local Pret shops are closed.

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

Link

Maybe Pret staff finally are fed up enough to walk out of Pret. Burger King staff certainly have had enough and a Pret customer finds it appropriate for Pret to take heed!

.

.

Here the FULL email again by a Pret shops staff member who contacted me in December 2020, among many other staff, quote:

»Hi, I work for Pret right now and honestly everything you say is 100%. If I didn’t need my job so bad right now I would tell them all to go fuck themselves!

No bonus, unpaid breaks. Everyone is like a workhorse… even a 28 hour contract working 48-60 hours because not enough staff.

People are now just working their 28 hours and leaving, no one stays over anymore the people are waking up!

The exploitation is unreal! Calling people from other shops all over to help! Sweating all day, customers are rude because service is slow.

To make matters worse they add the subscription which states on their website over 18, we have kids coming as young as 8 ordering coffees smoothies and frappes!

Pret don’t care about anyone in this company, everyone is replaceable. It makes me so sick to work for them but at this moment I do not really have a choice!

Keep doing what you do! Fuck them! I really hope they sink In this pandemic! This horrible corporate cog of the biggest scandals wheel.«

– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020

Link to email.

To all Pret and general staff, join a union and leave a review on both Glassdoor AND Indeed, especially in your own language to help your fellow country men and women to make informed decisions.

I adopted the following song as the Pret A Manger Anthem!

.

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

.


.

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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, 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Mandemic Staff Reviews

and a video message to Pret by Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha.

.


.

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.

99.9% Accepted Exploitation – So, 0.01% Lost in Court!

I try to keep it as short as possible, but this is THE reason why people need to ORGANIZE and stand up in unity as a group.

My heart is broken for this former Pret staff, a Kitchen Leader (KL) who made the same mistake I and so many other Pret folk do: He fought alone. But at least he FOUGHT!

Below is a link to a full Tribunal court decision, which shows that even if Judges agree that the respondent (in this case Pret who was getting sued) acted unreasonable, Judges have to do the fair thing, uphold the law, listen to other aspects and make decisions on democratic level UNLESS a law was broken.

This to me is a very sad case and a lost opportunity YET AGAIN!

Link to Judge Heath’s decision.

In a nutshell:

Former KL J-P Moussye sued Pret for “redundancy” pay after being dismissed/fired from Pret for refusing to sign the new contract of lower contracted hours. But Mr Moussy was NOT made redundant, he was fired.

This is on page 6, point 32, quote:

“As the claimant was not dismissed by reason of redundancy, he is not entitled to a redundancy payment, and I dismiss this part of his claim.”

Redundancy pay package can only be claimed when made redundant due to down-sizing a company etc. But here the deal was “you sign or get dismissed”. And dismissal is more negative than redundancy. Dismissal puts the blame on the one fired, while redundancy is not the person’s fault who got dismissed as redundancy. Therefore, no redundancy pay.

The simple choice that Pret forced upon staff was: you sign the new deal of lower contracted hours or you get fired. End of.

The court document states on page 5, point 27. quote, that “out of 4,443 staff members presented with proposed changes to their contracts of employment, all but six accepted.”

A little side note: the proposed changes happened just at the start of lock-down March 2020 when Pret boasted of around 12,000 staff. Interesting to see that less than half of employees have been “offered” this lower deal. And the question on social media always is, if the big guns, the execs also took a pay cut! Well, this number suggests no!

UPDATE July 2022

The Guardian:

“Pret CEO handed near-£4m bonus in year staff pay was cut

Pano Christou also given 27% salary rise in 2021 as chain took more than £50m in government support”

.

Link

.


.

And another little side-note, of course Pret would thrive again. Pret has cheated customers out of expensive ice drinks on subscription, keep having “technical issues” where the QR code doesn’t work or isn’t being send for days, forcing customers to buy instore as they give Pret the benefit of the doubt etc. etc.

News three days ago that sales are soaring again due to office workers going back to the offices. 80% of sales from pre-Pandemic levels! But of course, wages remain lowered and all the other perks Pret cut.

Link to Thisismoney article

So, only 6 staff refused to take the cut and were fired. And only one of the six went to court over it.

It further states in point 29. quote (I highlight/bold):

“Whether the dismissal is fair or unfair depends on whether in the circumstances (including the size and administrative resources the employer’s undertaking) the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably in treating the reason as sufficient reason for dismissing the employee, and is to be determined in accordance with the equity and the substantial merits of the case.”

Further on page 6, point 30. b, quote:

The fact that a large percentage of the workforce has accepted contractual changes is a material factor which the tribunal can take account of in assessing whether the dismissal fell within the band of reasonable responses …”

Further point 33, quote:

“99.9% of the workforce went along with change, which in itself is supportive of the soundness of the respondent’s business reasons for restructure.”

In a nutshell 99.9% of staff said to Pret: “Lovely dearest Pret A Manger, we absolutely love for you to fuck us over with even less hours, and with it pay, for the hard work during a live threatening pandemic! And we loved how you immediately cut our hours before the first lockdown while giving NHS workers free coffee and 50% rebates, taking from us and using the NHS for a PR stunt and as a smoke screen to hide cuts to staff from the public. Hallelujah! We totally agree with this! Thank you SO much for exploiting us further! Big thumbs up!” 🙂

But what the Judge doesn’t realize is the fear management and brainwash and breaking of promises that Pret does. Of course the majority of low-wage, mainly foreign workers who have kids to feed or university fees to pay rather take the lousy deal, giving Pret the benefit of the doubt that the cut is temporary as promised!!!

The Judge took that willingness to get further exploited into considerations and concluded with a fair (to the Judge’s knowledge of Pret), but heart-breaking decision, point 34. quote:

“In considering whether the respondent acted reasonably or unreasonably, it is not for me to substitute my own opinion but to assess whether the respondent’s actions fell within a range of reasonable responses.”

In other words, even if Judge Heath agreed with J-P Moussy that Pret acted unreasonable, the Judge HAD TO take into account that 99.9% of staff loved getting screwed over with more exploitation!

I don’t know which number or percentage would have swayed the Judge to conclude in favour of Mr. Moussy, but imagine even just 5%, or 20% = about 1,200 staff would have objected to the new contract, or let’s dream of half, 50% = 2,000+ … the outcome would have been a very different one!

And that’s what breaks my heart, that Pret workers like ALL workers are sleeping GIANTS who don’t understand that if you ORGANIZE in numbers, you’ll chase Pret out of town in a heart beat!

And that is WHY I keep pressing people to join a flipping Union and ORGANIZE in increasing NUMBERS!!!!!!

The Judge’s job is to uphold the law. Pret has not broken any law. So, the next thing a Judge will do is take all sorts of things into consideration, and in this case the strongest issue leading to Pret winning is that 0.01% objected, resulting in less than that losing in court.

J-P Moussy probably has a huge legal bill on his neck. Is certainly depressed, hopefully his mental and physical health isn’t taking a hard nose-dive. But if you should ever read this Mr. Moussy, I for one have HUGE respect for you to have taken Pret on, even if I want to shake you for doing it alone! But I can’t shake you, because I made that mistake for too long!

But to give Pret staff and other low-wage workers hope, here a small YouTube slide on SOME of the MANY MANY customer voices on social media boycotting Pret because they learnt from ONE Guardian article after I tweeted to the press, because ONE Pret staff ask for help with a strike that never happened, as the staff must have been silenced by Pret. But they can’t silence customers and public voices!

And underneath, an Instagram rant by Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha who used her HUGE 400K+ followers platform to kick Pret’s butt, after customers learnt that Pret has made temporary pay cuts permanent:

And Nadia Sawalha’s beautiful rant on Instagram that still has me cry when I watch it. Pret staff you are NOT alone, but you need to stand up TOGETHER in a GROUP!

.


.

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 Charity Projects

When Pret find themselves in a pickle, a crisis, being exposed etc. they do what they do best: polish up the facade by doing a charity thing.

A small list of charity runs I know of in connection to something deeper that Pret tries to hide or overcome.

I start with my favourite PR stunt that came directly after Pret was informed of my website. Each link explains in detail with screenshots of issues.

Pret’s £1000 announcement to all staff in May 2018 after finding out about my blog.

The coffee freebie and 50% off food for NHS workers, just before first lock-down, while the very next day cutting staff hours, pay. Pret using NHS staff for PR and as a smoke screen to hide staff cuts. Full CEO email in above link.

CEO Pano Christou doing a half-marathon for the Pret Foundation Trust AND asking low-wage staff for donations of whom he made cuts to. Pret trying to get money at every turn under the “charity” umbrella.

Will be updated as more “charity” activity is revealed that looks fishy in connection with other issues.

.


.

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 Employee got Covid

and NOTHING was done! And this was pre-vax.

I have the permission from a former Pret staff to post the following Facebook messages between them and myself. That’s what they meant by “yeah go for it”. I absolutely believe that account as I know Pret very well. Also, don’t forget that Pret did NOTHING after TWO customers died from allergen, a third narrowly survived and this was not public until the inquest into Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death. I was a Team Leader when 2 customers died, meaning part of my responsibility and job description was health and safety! But not only were we NOT informed about fatalities, Pret didn’t even give us as much as a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling, and no further training on allergen was done. Zero. Nothing. Nada. Null!

And I implore the press to send a journalist undercover for at least one month in DIFFERENT shops to see the SYSTEMIC issues throughout the company. Pret is desperate for staff now, so it should not be an issue to get a journo in for a second time. Many shops are closed due to what Pret on Twitter says, “short term staffing disruption“, while some shops have a note at the door that shops are closed due to “refurbishment” or “nip and tuck”! 😀

Yet, I worked in several shops over the years and KNOW that Pret ONLY does refurbishments during the night and mostly on weekends, so as not to disrupt trading hours. I had to deal with neighbour complaints several times who came into the shop first thing Monday morning fuming that builders made noise of hammering, sawing etc. during the night.

So three possibilities why shops are closed: staff walk out, virus outbreak to pest issues, and I add a 4th now on 29.07.2021 – I have a hunch that Pret send staff from less busy shops to busier and more profitable shops, closed the less busy shops and keep selling the £20 monthly subscription, while many customers can’t use it due to closed shops!

Nip and tuck is NOT a massive refurbishment, but even if there was a massive refurbishment, they only take TWO NIGHTS while shops remain open during the day. I’ve worked in several Pret shops over the years that had huge refurbishments in the early 2010s when Pret changed from the ugly cold steel look to the warm wood ambience. And EVERYONE of those shop refurbishments were completed within two nights, often during the weekend. There was NEVER a disruption during daytime opening hours, never!

In the Facebook exchange, I leave a lot of messages out that are not relevant here, to keep it focused on issues of staff getting Covid, no cleaning, expired food etc. But they are in chronological order. I absolutely believe this former staff because I’ve seen enough carelessness when I worked at Pret, but this is now much worse which in my time I never thought possible.

Please click ctrl & + (ctrl & plus) to enlarge the screenshots for easier read, and ctrl & – to decrease again.. The blue screenshots are my writings obviously.

.

.

The person means this Tweet from me, please click on “show more” as Twitter censors/hides my Tweets:
https://twitter.com/LateNightGirlMe/status/1417130241248665605

.


.

UPDATE March 2022 a mother of a Pret staff said that staff are required to come to work even with Covid. Pret’s doing what they always do, follow the law, not matter if those are wrong or dangerous. It has always, remains and will always be profit over lives with Pret.

Link

.

Back to and further in the FB message:

.

(mild = milk)

.

.

A customer called Pret out on this:

.

Link to Tweet.

UPDATE 31.10.2021

An indicator that soup was frozen before re-heating again. Customers usually rant and rave about the Mushroom Risotto soup being their favourite soup from Pret. But here, it’s the worst, quote: “runny like soup, hardly warm and tastes odd”. I used to freeze soups I bought from the supermarket or cooked myself. With “creamy” soups it does become runny and tasteless.

Link


.

About the toasties etc. being carried over to the next day and NOT freshly made daily, as Pret claims, confirms what another current staff private messaged me on Twitter a few months ago: Pret Food is NOT Fresh

And about the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.

In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.

Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here: Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates

And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:

Link

And a Tweet from just yesterday:

Link

And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat POO on food!

Link

Further in the FB message:

.

Absolutely agree!

To the person on Facebook, thanks for letting me post this.

And this goes along the lines of some staff reviews I found:

Link

A recent review:

Link

Also, at the start of the pandemic, just before the first lock-down, Pret did the typical thing to play pretend to care for customer safety for show, while completely ignoring staff safety – Customer safety March 2020:

.

Versus staff safety March 2020:

.

And from 19th July 2021 Pret has put the following safety measures in place:

.

Link (the text in the link may change as time goes on, screenshot above with my markings).

If people check Pret’s Tweets & Replies regularly, they will find customer complaints that tables, chairs etc. are NOT sanitized. And how can it be cleaned with so little staff?!

.

.

.

.

UPDATE 01.08.2021 – It’s not only in that shop, it’s in MOST shops due to chronic under-staffing:

.

.

Also since the UK lifted all restrictions on 19. July 2021, daily customer complaints on social media of being appalled that Pret immediately took off the counter screens, and hardly any staff wears a mask. But I can’t be bothered to screenshot any more …

Just one Tweet from a customer at the start of lock-down 2020 where it was already evident how Pret treats staff for anyone who has OPEN eyes. This is after the PR stunt of announcing NHS freebies and rebates on 18. March, and the very next morning CEO Pano Christou sent out an email to shops announcing cuts to staff. I was sent the CEO email by a staff that morning and published it. The NHS was used for PR AND as a smoke-screen to hide staff cuts.

Full CEO email here: To NHS Employees

.

So, the question remains, WHY are several Pret shops closed throughout the UK? Somehow the press got wind of one outbreak in March 2021:

Link

The following video I’ve shot in Stansted airport July 2020 when ALL food shops were closed EXCEPT Pret (and essential Boots & WH Smiths). And before anyone crucifies me, I had to do essential travel as my mum was placed in a care home and then hospital (non-Covid related) after I cared for her during 1st lock-down, briefly went home and her health (dementia) deteriorated to the point the neighbours and ambulant care service couldn’t care for her at home anymore. I tried to keep her at home as long as possible flying back and forth pre-Covid and then staying for 3+ months during 1st lock-down. I was even planning to move back and care for her. But that never worked out …

.

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

.


.

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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’s Food isn’t Fresh

.

… and “freshly made” is psychology, as well as not always true.

Please see customer pictures further below if you want to skip my detailed text.

UPDATED: August 2022

.

Link

Link

Upfront: If you DM me on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram etc. please be aware that I don’t get notified! If I don’t respond within a week, try to get my attention again or contact me via my contact form. I am blacklisted on social media, shadow banned, my posts hidden at times in censorship after Pret must have reported me etc. I am often not notified when I receive a DM or a DM request. But they can’t silence me after I declined hush money and never signed the NDA.

After Pret ignored TWO customer allergen deaths, 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse (died 2016) and mother of five, 42 year old Celia Marsh (died 2017) and over a dozen further injuries before it got public, unsafe food practices not only continue without consequences, but have gotten much, much worse in broad daylight. There was almost a third fatality of student Isobel Colnaghi, who narrowly survived in 2017. She lost her lawsuit against Pret, because Pret didn’t break a law and successfully blamed a low wage worker.

There will be an inquest coming in September 2022 into Celia Marsh’s death as her husband is not giving up to get answers. He sued Pret but nothing could be proven if Pret was at fault. He now keeps going to have an official inquest with the vegan yogurt provider Coyo that supplied Pret with vegan products, but since Mrs Marsh’s death have been booted off by Pret. They blame each other.

The press is aware of this as I tweeted them in many times and emailed this blog post to many journalists as well as the Food Standard Authority. And maybe there is an investigation we don’t know of yet, or a journalist is going undercover to see for themselves. But this can’t go on like this.

I was a team leader in Pret with one of the job description being health and safety. I took that very seriously and never cheated on stretching expiry dates etc. Cleanliness and doing things PROPERLY was extremely important and my strength. This trickled down on staff who then also worked in a clean and careful manner, no matter how much pressure Pret threw at us. I REFUSED to cheat! Needless to say, I was never promoted beyond team leader level. And I ddin’t care!

Pret is very micromanaging and overly strict, penalising and bullying staff for the slightest, even unimportant issue. So, the below is extremely upsetting and offensive to me. I wasted 10 years in this toxic company doing my job extremely well, being known for my health and safety, hygiene work and record.

But now Pret want more money with less staff and quality. Hence, see the below.

Also, mislabelling continues where vegans and vegetarians eat meat, or people of certain faiths eat pork instead of whatever was labelled on their food. I collected only a few of the many, many complaints with photos: Vegans and vegetarians eat meat at Pret.

Pret are now breaking “Natasha’s Law”.

And before I go into some of the photos of customer complaints of mould and rat droppings on food further below, here only some of many food poisoning complaints.

UPDATE August 2022 right off the bat, several recent food poisoning incidences. One on 22.05.22 is from Paris. These issues I believe are a direct result of what I write and post on below.

The latest (as far as I checked) is posted on Twitter on 15.08.2022

Link

12.08.2022, Paris:

Link

01. August 2022:

Link

Twitter on 21.06.2022:

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link

13.06.2022 Chicken again!

Link

Other food poisoning incidences just as Links.

So, here is Pret A Manger’s psychology in using terms & slogans: “freshly made”. You can “freshly make” a sandwich with expired ingredients, mouldy cheese & stale bread. It’s “freshly made” with UN-fresh ingredients!

Also, Pret staff tell me that sandwiches and other products are now “carried over” to the next day(s) making Pret’s slogan “made today gone today” also false advertising. This is why staff don’t see the mould. If they would make a sandwich today from a mouldy or stale bread, they would feel/see it. But as some food is carried over in its packaging, they don’t see the mould and other problems like rat droppings, plastic, hair etc.

The following blog posts are important to read, and please be aware that these issues were BEFORE Brexit and the pandemic, in fact since years:

I mention these because I was contacted on Twitter in 2021 with the following, in part, quote:
“Pret have started keeping their food overnight and selling it the next day. Considering they’ve built their entire brand on the Freshly Made slogan it’s very misleading. They’ve also slowly started removing all the freshly prepared signs from their stores hoping no one finds out.”

End of quote.

30. July 2022, that’s the worst mould sandwich so far. “Freshly made” mind you. I reckon this one is at least 2 – 4 days old sitting in fridges. Also, soups get reheated several times which is also not allowed. Hence, complaints of bitter tasting soups keep coming in.

Link

Update 04.08.2022 a video from Pret in Berlin where you can HEAR the staleness of the bread. Just click the play button in the picture. You will also see further below complaints from Paris as this is company-wide.

Link

AND also 04.08.2022 four day expired fizzy juice:

Link

Many of below customer complaints are not in this YouTube slide show:

.

UPDATE: September 2021

Pret together with the TooGoodToGo app now SELL leftover food for cheaper price in bags for people to pick up from shops. The OLIO app still give free food while TGTG app sells it now! Even HOT food that has expired after the 2 hours shelf life is now sold that Pret wouldn’t even give for free before, due to safety issues with the temperature fluctuation! Pret was VERY strict about this and I was reprimanded once by my Manager for giving out-of-shelf life hot food to the charity that picked up food in the evening! More detail: Pret A Manger Health and Safety Hypocricy.

So, when it comes to money, anything goes suddenly! And Pret sells expired food under the “charity” umbrella to collect money for the Pret Foundation Trust to, quote: “alleviate poverty” while having made cuts to staff wages and benefits. Pret workers are now on minimum-wage and have to top up their pay with benefits. Pret CEO Pano Christou even has the audacity to ask his low-wage staff for donations! Pret is trying to get money at EVERY turn having installed donation devices in shops that customers mistake for payment devices and accidentally donate to Pret! Katchink!

I strongly believe Pret should get investigated on where the donations REALLY go to! More on Pret’s Foundation Trust: Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects, and WHEN they do charity events.

.

.

I have to mention like I did in above “Stretched Dates” post, that in Pret, many Managers and Leaders have always stretched dates, especially during the Christmas period when the depot sent short-dated ingredients to get rid of stock, as the holidays approached and stock was sitting around expiring.

I won’t bother posting all the Tweets of customers who complain to Pret with and without photos that the bread is stale, or the chicken tastes off etc. Just a few so you won’t need to take my word for it. There has always been date stretching, but since the lock-downs it’s gotten worse. Below Tweets are all from DIFFERENT shops, so this is not just the odd shop here or there, it’s throughout the board. And as a side-note, Pret received a cash injection from owners JAB recently: JAB pumps £185 million into Pret via MCA-insight.com

Furthermore, Pret received an additional £100 million from shareholders to open 200 more shops within 3 years. Pret also received help from the UK government with the furlough scheme as well as bank loans. Of course the bank and shareholders want their money back, so the squeeze continues. And with “squeeze” I mean raising prices, lowering pay to minimum-wage (the payrise in April 2022 is just for PR as the government raises the minimum-wage), benefit and other cuts remain in place, customers get ripped-off which I explain in detail throughout my blog and on my YouTube playlist etc. etc. etc.

Yet, Pret refuse to pay rent and have multiple lawsuits from landlords in the USA on their neck reaching into the millions, some I listed here: Pret’s Lawsuits and Settlements. Instead of paying their bills and debts as best as possible, they go ahead and open more shops worldwide. Quality suffers, customers are p!ssed off, boycott and staff walk out. What do you do when you have problems at home? You go out and continue the bullsh!t elsewhere in hopes they will never know how Pret fudges up back in the homeland (as well as those countries they’re already open).

UPDATE June 2022:

.

Link

13.08.2021 mould on cheese (for this Italian style “Parmesan” cheese to get mouldy, it takes a very LONG time. This means, this cheese has been stored way beyond its expiry date or the fridge was not cooled appropriately, and understaffed shops have no time to get it fixed):

04.09.2021 mould on bread:

Link

22.11.2021 mould on newly launched Christmas sandwich:

Link

UPDATE Jan. 2022

UPDATE May 2022, 2 mouldy products from 2 different shops in 1 day:

.

.


.

A customer who seems to know that I write publicly on Pret issues posted to me on Facebook that Pret’s food isn’t freshly made. I first responded to his fair-trade question that Pret had to remove the word “natural” from signage and packaging, but my post disappeared (either got deleted by FB or hidden, I can’t find it) he responded:

.

Link to FB post. Please click on “View … more replies” to see the post.

07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!

.

Now THIS is bad, because pickled cornichons and cucumbers take months to mould! This mouldy cornichon hasn’t just gone bad within days, who knows how long it has been sitting in that Pret kitchen fridge! More detail on the times when mould forms, here: Can Pickles Go Bad?

.

Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019

.

Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!

Link

Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:

.

Link

Mouldy breakfast berry compote:

.

Link

.

Stale bread:

.

.

.

.

.

UPDATE from July 2021 on:

Part of a private Facebook message with a former Pret staff who allowed me to post this on my blog. Their experience DURING the pandemic where sandwiches, products are kept over-night and expired foods are used, and to my surprise that the ready cooked factory soups that come in plastic bags now get frozen to keep them beyond their expiry dates. Their only game now is to not get caught by a surprise EHO visit:

.

(mild = milk)

.

.

A customer called Pret out on this:

.

Link to Tweet.

UPDATE 31.10.2021

An indicator that soup was frozen before re-heating again. Customers usually rant and rave about the Mushroom Risotto soup being their favourite soup from Pret. But here, it’s the worst, quote: “runny like soup, hardly warm and tastes odd”. I used to freeze soups I bought from the supermarket or cooked myself. With “creamy” soups it does become runny and tasteless.

Link


.

About the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.

In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.

Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here:
Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates

And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:

Link

Link

And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat droppings on food!

Link

UPDATE February 2022:

Pret London City Airport had a poor hygiene rating by a surprise EHO visit of 2 out of 5. It was mainly on pest issues and general hygiene. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More detail on this: Pret’s Hygiene Rating December 2021.

.

.

Some of many staff reviews:

Link


Link to General Manager review regarding “cheating” to please OPs Managers pressure.

Link

etc. etc. etc.

For other “gone off” foods, please visit pest infested Pret shops via
Rat A Manger & Pret A Mice or via YouTube with some “explicit” videos (you have been warned!):

.


.

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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.

And ANOTHER LAWSUIT against Pret A Manger

»Pret can’t dodge biometric privacy lawsuit over employee fingerprint scans«

»Pret A Manger must face a proposed class action over alleged unlawful collection and retention of employees’ biometric data«

Link to Reuters article

“The lawsuit was filed in November 2020 in Cook County Circuit Court by attorneys Keith J. Keogh and Gregg M. Barbakoff, of Keogh Law Ltd., of Chicago. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of named plaintiff Kayla Quarles, identified as a former Pret A Manger employee, who worked at one of the chain’s Chicago locations for about a year, ending in 2019.

The lawsuit seeks to expand the action to include virtually all Pret A Manger employees who worked at its Chicago restaurants in the past five years.

The class action asserts Pret A Manger improperly required its workers to scan their fingerprints when punching in and out of work shifts. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Pret A Manger of failing to secure written authorization from the workers before requiring such fingerprint scans, and of failing to provide workers and the public with certain notices required by the law, explaining why Pret A Manger was requiring the fingerprint scans, and what it would do with the scanned biometric identification data.”

Link

.


.

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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 Staff don’t look Happy

… because they are NOT happy!

.

UPFRONT: please note that in below and current Mystery Shopper reports, Pret has completely scrapped the questions on IF staff members know about allergen. After 2 customers died and only when this became public, Pret included questions to test staff on their knowledge of allergen. But while Pret keeps all the other micromanaging questions, they have stopped testing on life-saving allergen questions.

.

UPDATE May 2021:

Staff tell me that the £100 reward and some other benefits are back now, so below is out-dated, but I leave it like it is to show customers how low-wage staff are pressured for a little more peanuts and fear management. If ONE staff member makes a mistake, the WHOLE Team lose bonus.

.

Update 12. May 2021 on a customer seeing the exploitation in Pret and made a short video:

.

Link

Link

.

This is the third blog entry or YouTube slide I post on a Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper (MS) report. This 3rd report is a recent one from December 2020. Since the pandemic and all the cuts Pret has done, there is currently not even bonus being paid to staff, YET, low-wage workers are STILL expected to be acrobatic clowns tested by weekly Mystery Shoppers.

I write extensively about the Mystery Shopper on several entries and walk the reader through a MS report on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed and included 2 YouTube slides (at the bottom) for those who don’t want to read long detailed blog entries. The reason it’s so detailed is to show how micromanaging and exploitative Pret is that at least now have cut the MS questions from 32 down to 20. But not paying bonus is even worse than the previous exploitation.

I write this new blog entry because several customers have complained to Pret on Twitter that they don’t want to be asked again and again if they want to buy anything extra. Unfortunately customers don’t appreciate the immense stress and the target for staff to have to up-sell or lose bonus. In below screenshots from a December 2020 MS report, people can see the perfect example of a shop that lost bonus BECAUSE the Team Member (TM) did NOT up-sell the way Pret demands and the fussy Mystery Shopper expected. This particular Mystery Shopper was especially ignorant and arrogant, expecting staff to stretch in all directions.

One of several recent customer complaints not realizing staff have no choice:

Link

.

The following sheet is an example of a weekly rota or plan on which item to up-sell on which day and time of day. Pret staff send me all these pieces of information as my blog is the only “link” between their silent ordeal behind the scenes and the public (and press).

.

And part of a leaked Zoom call video I was sent and passed on to the BBC that later reported on Pret’s “job situation” when it was announced that employment cuts were coming up. In this clip I cut out from the full video, UK Managing Director Clare Clough explains the “Attachment Rate” which is where customers buy extra items when they get a coffee on a subscription service, or in this case with the “20 coffees for £20” voucher. Since the pandemic and loss of profit staff HAVE TO up-sell because that’s where the money comes in.

For some reason the sound is off-sync. Not sure what happened there. I cut this part from the full Zoom call I was leaked to from a Pret employee, some technical glitch happened there. Apologies. But what Clare Clough says is clear.

Also, pay attention to the psychology in wording that Pret HQ always use. Quote “We’ve asked shops to start encouraging people to treat themselves to a croissant or cookie …”

No, Pret DEMANDS staff to upsell or they don’t get bonus as seen further below in the Mystery Shopper report where ONE staff member serving the MS did NOT upsell in a SPECIFIC way.

If the 1 staff member does not upsell specifically, the whole shop Team get penalized by not getting bonus, which in turn adds to bullying, silent treatment, shame, peer pressure etc. (And this is why I name and shame Pret millionaires so publicly and so loudly!)

.

The BBC article that came from this leaked video where CEO Pano Christou announced numbers, profit and the “job situation”: Pret a Manger job cut fears as sales plunge

.

It is disheartening that people do not understand how low-wage staff have to be like acrobatic clowns, kiss butt all day, smile no matter what, during bereavement, depression, illness etc. in order to get just a few extra peanuts and the shop Manager a bigger cut of the quarterly bonus. Low-wage staff don’t realize they have to go on strike to stop this exploitation and abuse by companies like Pret.

Staff get heat from all sides: customers complain, bosses bully to get more profit, Mystery Shoppers comment on the tiniest issue which I scrutinize in detail below. And staff get more depressed, disheartened, careless. It is a wonder that not more customers have died and who knows if or how many staff have caught the virus or even died that Pret keeps under the carpet. We have forgotten that TWO customers have died in Pret and Pret got away with it. Full steam ahead, business as usual. Let the exploitation and carelessness continue.

Recently a Pret shop in Norwich was closed due to a Covid outbreak.

Mystery Shopper Screenshots: (I highlighted and marked in yellow or red a few things to explain the horrible expectation by multi-millionaires to squeeze the last drop out of workers to present a happy facade).

I cannot enlarge the screenshots, so please press “Ctrl & +” to enlarge the picture and “Ctrl & ” to decrease it again (Ctrl & plus / Ctrl & minus). But I quote under each screenshot what I marked to point out the micromanagement and humiliating expectations.

.

Marked in yellow:

»Until further notice, Bonus and Star
Team awards are not payable«

Bonus used to be £1 per hour worked. So if a TM worked 40 hours that week and the shop gets the bonus, they earn extra £40 that week.
An individual TM can get extra £50 or 100 (even if the bonus for the whole team is lost) if the TM is extra nice and kisses butt extra hard. This is called an “Outstanding Card” (OC) £50. If the overall shop scores are perfect, the TM gets the “Super Outstanding Card” (SOC) = £100. Giving a freebie most likely gets the TM the £50 or £100 cash reward. An Outstanding Card is not literally a card, but just the name of the cash reward for smiling extra hard.
A Star Team Award is when within a quarter a shop consistently gets outstanding cards, bonus and high scores. HQ then gives the shop a few hundred or thousands of pounds to go out to dinner or bowling or whatever. Might sound great, but the high pressure, stress and bullying environment to constantly get high scores defeats the mood to then also go out in your private time. I was always so exhausted from work and the horrible work atmosphere that I didn’t enjoy spending my private time with colleagues and the bullying boss.

So, until further notice staff still have to act like acrobatic clowns and bend in all directions with a big non-stop smile and chatty attitude, yet currently don’t get any cash rewards until further notice. If staff want to continue getting exploited like this, there’s no hope for change!

.

.

If the reader wants to understand the full Pret blow a low-wage Team Member suffers through day in, day out, please read my extensive post on each step of above MS questions and the system behind this on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed. If even just ONE category is in the red, the whole shop Team lose bonus and get fear managed. If only ONE staff member makes a mistake or doesn’t kiss butt of the Mystery Shopper enough, the whole team can lose bonus if the Mystery Shopper wants to, as it happened in this MS report. Mystery Shoppers seem to enjoy the power they have, and I renamed them to “Misery Shopper”.

.

.

Quote on the top left under “Outstanding Card”:

»Was any ONE member of our team very helpful, extremely charming and/or outstanding?«

No 😦

This is the question about any ONE Team Member’s service, regardless if the whole Team got the bonus or not. The added 😦 emoticons are to increase the “disappointment” and stress that staff didn’t kiss butt enough. My colleague can lose us all the bonus by their “poor” service, but I individually can get the £50 Outstanding Card reward if the Mystery Shopper notices me being extra special nice kissing butt. If the shop gets the bonus and all scores are perfect, it would double my reward to £100. But again, since the pandemic not until further notice does Pret pay any bonus or rewards while still sitting on billions. So, instead of getting cash rewards staff get brainwashed and continuously fear managed to keep performing a happy facade.

.

.

Mystery Shoppers have to check if staff wear masks or an exemption badge. Yet, many customers on Social Media complain about the lack of wearing masks and exemption badges. Some shops have ALL staff not wearing masks. The MS is tasked to probe into this because Managers don’t enforce mask wearing.

.

.

I highlighted this to explain to customers that staff have 60 seconds to serve a customer and 60 seconds to hand over the hot drink from the time the customer paid. Mystery Shoppers time it to the SECOND which is extremely patronizing to staff who are rushed off their feet ALL day and then customers complain that their coffee was half empty, cold, too much froth etc. and worse of all Mystery Shoppers complain about “robotic” service! The speed of service is just for ONE purpose, to get customers in and out of shops as fast as possible for fast money flow.

Quote:
“I was served in 32 seconds and was happy with this.”
“I received my coffee in 36 seconds and was happy with this.”

But later in their last comments (at the bottom) complain that, quote: “there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink“. (Idiot!)

Pret wants fast service with a smile, but not robotic!

Pret wants perfect products, but within seconds!

I always told my colleagues that the best way to describe Pret A Manger’s work expectations and conditions is, that they bind the feet of staff and then demand them to run. And if they fall, they get penalized. I keep saying again and again to join a Union and strike. If McDonald’s and Amazon workers and maybe soon NHS workers can do it, Pret staff can. They just need to find the strength and courage to look beyond the brainwash and fear management. But maybe they’re not angry enough yet.

.

.

Here is where the up-sell question comes and where this particular shop lost the bonus because ONE Team Member was probably too exhausted to up-sell a specific item. Quote:

»How did the team member suggest a product to complement your purchase?«

No product suggested (1)
“The team member asked me if I would like anything else in a robotic manner but didn’t suggest a particular product.”

Staff are expected for low wage, NO bonus, fear management and brainwash to bend themselves over day after day and then get reprimanded for being robotic. This is one of the worst types of abuses in the workplace that employees suffer.

.

.

Quote:

»How well did your server or any member of the team end the transaction by thank you and/or giving a pleasant parting comment?«

Parting Comment/Thank You Given (3)
“The team member said thank you but didn’t say anything else. I felt that she could have said enjoy or have a nice day.”

.

These kinds of comments I have read hundreds of time in my years in Pret. Extremely patronizing, unemphatic, and the power that Mystery Shoppers enjoy to want to have a conversation with and attention of a low-wage staff member who is burnt out. Depending on the business of a particular shop, but from my experience, a Team Member EASILY serves 300 – 500 people per day. And Pret expects them to smile, chat, give eye contact, kiss butt all day every day, and now even for no extra money. If staff don’t join Unions and go on strike they will continue to be degraded like this.

.

.

And these are non-scoring comments by the Mystery Shopper. The yellow highlighted I have quoted in red below. Dear Reader, please tell me how you would feel reading those comments after you have sweated day in day out for low wage, now no bonus, no rewards, just humiliating comments! And please don’t make it too easy on yourself by saying that staff can just find another job! Read this email a current Pret staff sent me: Pret don’t Care About Anyone.

Remember, the Barista or Coffee Maker has 60 seconds to get the drink ready into the customer’s hand or risk losing the WHOLE Team their bonus! This Misery Shopper was happy to be given his coffee in 36 seconds and then complains that it wasn’t well made! I wish I knew this particular MS, I would slap this Misery Shopper the report at his feet (I say “his” because the photo he took with the receipt in his hands clearly showed a male hand. Sounds like an arrogant, entitled, power-loving fathermucker!

Only one of many customer complaints on Twitter regarding long queues and only 1 or 2 staff members behind the counter:

and

Link

.

.

.

.

etc. etc. etc.

The MOST poignant staff review that painfully explains a day in Pret. I can underline every dot and comma of this review. I highlighted a view things and put the link underneath.

I still don’t know how I survived this stress! And even without having become suicidal, the pure stress and anxiety feels like can kill you! But I will never ever work in these kinds of conditions again! I’d rather be poor for the rest of my life and work in silence somewhere than in this exploitation:

Link

Dear Reader,
put yourself into the shoes of this particular Team Member (or any TM!) who served this Misery Shopper as the TM’s name will appear on the report.

You worked for hours that day, your Manager shouted at you in the office for little things and threatened you with a disciplinary because you aren’t fast enough making sandwiches, while being called from the kitchen to the tills constantly to serve customers as shops are ALWAYS under-staffed. You lost a loved one recently and have no choice but to work.

You worked already 8 days straight without a day off as there aren’t enough staff members and you feel manipulated to come to work on your day off. You feel too vulnerable to say no. You started at 5am everyday and this day until 3 or 4pm, now with unpaid breaks. So you cut your break short to not lose money and hope to get home as soon as possible.

You went through an intense morning coffee rush, and are now (after 1pm) in the middle of the extremely busy lunchtime rush. You are sweating, tinnitus screaming in your head, trying to concentrate, holding back the tears when thinking of the loved one you just buried a few weeks ago … you serve the Misery Shopper but don’t know it. You know you won’t get bonus or anything extra and ESPECIALLY no positive feedback whatsoever from your Manager or Team Leader. In fact, you (collaborative as a Team) are told to leave your problems at home and are expected to “wear a smile like you wear your uniform” (true story, actual words by a Manager I had!) …

And then you read comments like this after this particular Misery Shopper was “happy” that his coffee was ready in 36 seconds that he even timed on his stop-watch (phone) from burnt out low-wage staff:

“I would recommend based on the food only as the service was just average and the coffee wasn’t well made. I didn’t think the coffee had been properly prepared, because as I got to the last half of it, there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink and I was unable to continue drinking it.”

You leave your shift going home. You head for the bridge.

.

Former Pret A Manger staff Tweet

.

Several excerpts of Mystery Shoppers from different years and shops where staff were expected to smile, give eye contact to EVERY customer:

.

One Mystery Shopper report with most of 32 micromanaging questions from December 2019 (those questions include allergen questions):

.

A recent staff member’s email to me, excerpt in orange, full email via link:
Pret don’t Care About Anyone

.

Further reading on the Emotional Labour practices of large companies, please go to: The Dangers of Emotional Labour (how it harms service workers’ mental health). There I’ve listed some excellent articles by journalists and former service workers who became journalists.

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.

.
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, 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.

Pret Staff don’t look happy

… because they are NOT happy!

.

UPFRONT: please note that in below and current Mystery Shopper reports, Pret has completely scrapped the questions on IF staff members know about allergen. After 2 customers died and only when this became public, Pret included questions to test staff on their knowledge of allergen. But while Pret keeps all the other micromanaging questions, they have stopped testing on life-saving allergen questions.

.

UPDATE May 2021:

Staff tell me that the £100 reward and some other benefits are back now, so below is out-dated, but I leave it like it is to show customers how low-wage staff are pressured for a little more peanuts and fear management. If ONE staff member makes a mistake, the WHOLE Team lose bonus.

.

Update 12. May 2021 on a customer seeing the exploitation in Pret and made a short video:

.

Link

Link

.

This is the third blog entry or YouTube slide I post on a Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper (MS) report. This 3rd report is a recent one from December 2020. Since the pandemic and all the cuts Pret has done, there is currently not even bonus being paid to staff, YET, low-wage workers are STILL expected to be acrobatic clowns tested by weekly Mystery Shoppers.

Pret show VERY clearly where their priorities are. Pret rather pays the Mystery Shopper marketing company Hopitality Guest Experience Management (HGEM) who employ Mystery Shoppers to go to Pret shops every week for their free lunch, than paying staff the living wage AND bonus. Pret continue to fear manage staff this way instead of rewarding their hard work for carrying Pret through the pademic, risking their lives. Pret CUT wages, benefits, bonus etc. while still paying HGEM.

Little side-note. HGEM blocked me on Twitter for calling them out how Pret staff SUFFER under the Mystery Shopper scheme.

I write extensively about the Mystery Shopper on several entries and walk the reader through a MS report on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed and included 2 YouTube slides (at the bottom) for those who don’t want to read long detailed blog entries. The reason it’s so detailed is to show how micromanaging and exploitative Pret is that at least now have cut the MS questions from 32 down to 20. But not paying bonus is even worse than the previous exploitation.

And you, as the reader may think ‘why do Pret staff continue and let Pret treat them this way?’ Because they are brainwashed and fear managed. I know what I’m talking about, I suffered under this having worked at Pret.

It’s very simple, Pret wear the staff out, under-staff shops so workers have NO chance to think for themselves. I was often SO exhausted that I missed my bus or tube stop when going home. I just fell asleep at 3pm in the afternoon and woke up at the last stop on the line, having to take the next bus back the other direction. Staff feel stuck, are steeped in anxiety to think straight and find the will or courage to find a better job. Most are foreign workers, easier to manipulate. And that answers your next question why Pret don’t employ more British people in shops (apart from head office). Check this YouTube slide on how Pret abuse their staff to the max.

I write this new blog entry because several customers have complained to Pret on Twitter that they don’t want to be asked again and again if they want to buy anything extra. Unfortunately customers don’t appreciate the immense stress and the target for staff to have to up-sell or lose bonus. In below screenshots from a December 2020 MS report, people can see the perfect example of a shop that lost bonus BECAUSE the Team Member (TM) did NOT up-sell the way Pret demands and the fussy Mystery Shopper expected. This particular Mystery Shopper was especially ignorant and arrogant, expecting staff to stretch in all directions.

One of several recent customer complaints not realizing staff have no choice:

Link

.

The following sheet is an example of a weekly rota or plan on which item to up-sell on which day and time of day. Pret staff send me all these pieces of information as my blog is the only “link” between their silent ordeal behind the scenes and the public (and press).

.

And part of a leaked Zoom call video I was sent and passed on to the BBC that later reported on Pret’s “job situation” when it was announced that employment cuts were coming up. In this clip I cut out from the full video, UK Managing Director Clare Clough explains the “Attachment Rate” which is where customers buy extra items when they get a coffee on a subscription service, or in this case with the “20 coffees for £20” voucher. Since the pandemic and loss of profit staff HAVE TO up-sell because that’s where the money comes in.

For some reason the sound is off-sync. Not sure what happened there. I cut this part from the full Zoom call I was leaked to from a Pret employee, some technical glitch happened there. Apologies. But what Clare Clough says is clear.

Also, pay attention to the psychology in wording that Pret HQ always use. Quote “We’ve asked shops to start encouraging people to treat themselves to a croissant or cookie …”

No, Pret DEMANDS staff to upsell or they don’t get bonus as seen further below in the Mystery Shopper report where ONE staff member serving the MS did NOT upsell in a SPECIFIC way.

If the 1 staff member does not upsell specifically, the whole shop Team get penalized by not getting bonus, which in turn adds to bullying, silent treatment, shame, peer pressure etc. (And this is why I name and shame Pret millionaires so publicly and so loudly!)

.

The BBC article that came from this leaked video where CEO Pano Christou announced numbers, profit and the “job situation”: Pret a Manger job cut fears as sales plunge

.

It is disheartening that people do not understand how low-wage staff have to be like acrobatic clowns, kiss butt all day, smile no matter what, during bereavement, depression, illness etc. in order to get just a few extra peanuts and the shop Manager a bigger cut of the quarterly bonus. Low-wage staff don’t realize they have to go on strike to stop this exploitation and abuse by companies like Pret.

Staff get heat from all sides: customers complain, bosses bully to get more profit, Mystery Shoppers comment on the tiniest issue which I scrutinize in detail below. And staff get more depressed, disheartened, careless. It is a wonder that not more customers have died and who knows if or how many staff have caught the virus or even died that Pret keeps under the carpet. We have forgotten that TWO customers have died in Pret and Pret got away with it. Full steam ahead, business as usual. Let the exploitation and carelessness continue.

Recently a Pret shop in Norwich was closed due to a Covid outbreak.

Mystery Shopper Screenshots: (I highlighted and marked in yellow or red a few things to explain the horrible expectation by multi-millionaires to squeeze the last drop out of workers to present a happy facade).

I cannot enlarge the screenshots, so please press “Ctrl & +” to enlarge the picture and “Ctrl & ” to decrease it again (Ctrl & plus / Ctrl & minus). But I quote under each screenshot what I marked to point out the micromanagement and humiliating expectations.

.

Marked in yellow:

»Until further notice, Bonus and Star
Team awards are not payable«

Bonus used to be £1 per hour worked. So if a TM worked 40 hours that week and the shop gets the bonus, they earn extra £40 that week.
An individual TM can get extra £50 or 100 (even if the bonus for the whole team is lost) if the TM is extra nice and kisses butt extra hard. This is called an “Outstanding Card” (OC) £50. If the overall shop scores are perfect, the TM gets the “Super Outstanding Card” (SOC) = £100. Giving a freebie most likely gets the TM the £50 or £100 cash reward. An Outstanding Card is not literally a card, but just the name of the cash reward for smiling extra hard.
A Star Team Award is when within a quarter a shop consistently gets outstanding cards, bonus and high scores. HQ then gives the shop a few hundred or thousands of pounds to go out to dinner or bowling or whatever. Might sound great, but the high pressure, stress and bullying environment to constantly get high scores defeats the mood to then also go out in your private time. I was always so exhausted from work and the horrible work atmosphere that I didn’t enjoy spending my private time with colleagues and the bullying boss.

So, until further notice staff still have to act like acrobatic clowns and bend in all directions with a big non-stop smile and chatty attitude, yet currently don’t get any cash rewards until further notice. If staff want to continue getting exploited like this, there’s no hope for change!

.

.

If the reader wants to understand the full Pret blow a low-wage Team Member suffers through day in, day out, please read my extensive post on each step of above MS questions and the system behind this on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed. If even just ONE category is in the red, the whole shop Team lose bonus and get fear managed. If only ONE staff member makes a mistake or doesn’t kiss butt of the Mystery Shopper enough, the whole team can lose bonus if the Mystery Shopper wants to, as it happened in this MS report. Mystery Shoppers seem to enjoy the power they have, and I renamed them to “Misery Shopper”.

.

.

Quote on the top left under “Outstanding Card”:

»Was any ONE member of our team very helpful, extremely charming and/or outstanding?«

No 😦

This is the question about any ONE Team Member’s service, regardless if the whole Team got the bonus or not. The added 😦 emoticons are to increase the “disappointment” and stress that staff didn’t kiss butt enough. My colleague can lose us all the bonus by their “poor” service, but I individually can get the £50 Outstanding Card reward if the Mystery Shopper notices me being extra special nice kissing butt. If the shop gets the bonus and all scores are perfect, it would double my reward to £100. But again, since the pandemic not until further notice does Pret pay any bonus or rewards while still sitting on billions. So, instead of getting cash rewards staff get brainwashed and continuously fear managed to keep performing a happy facade.

.

.

Mystery Shoppers have to check if staff wear masks or an exemption badge. Yet, many customers on Social Media complain about the lack of wearing masks and exemption badges. Some shops have ALL staff not wearing masks. The MS is tasked to probe into this because Managers don’t enforce mask wearing.

.

.

I highlighted this to explain to customers that staff have 60 seconds to serve a customer and 60 seconds to hand over the hot drink from the time the customer paid. Mystery Shoppers time it to the SECOND which is extremely patronizing to staff who are rushed off their feet ALL day and then customers complain that their coffee was half empty, cold, too much froth etc. and worse of all Mystery Shoppers complain about “robotic” service! The speed of service is just for ONE purpose, to get customers in and out of shops as fast as possible for fast money flow.

Quote:
“I was served in 32 seconds and was happy with this.”
“I received my coffee in 36 seconds and was happy with this.”

But later in their last comments (at the bottom) complain that, quote: “there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink“. (Idiot!)

Pret wants fast service with a smile, but not robotic!

Pret wants perfect products, but within seconds!

I am not a fan of Whetherspoon or Tim Martin the boss, but I apprentice that he does NOT demand his bar staff to smile. I put an excerpt on Soundcloud of the Desert Island Interview from years ago with Kirsty Young where Martin mentioned this. He even adds that some of his best bar staff are quite grumpy making Kirtsy Young giggle. I appreciate his approach here:

I always told my colleagues that the best way to describe Pret A Manger’s work expectations and conditions is, that they bind the feet of staff and then demand them to run. And if they fall, they get penalized. I keep saying again and again to join a Union and strike. If McDonald’s and Amazon workers and maybe soon NHS workers can do it, Pret staff can. They just need to find the strength and courage to look beyond the brainwash and fear management. But maybe they’re not angry enough yet.

.

.

Here is where the up-sell question comes and where this particular shop lost the bonus because ONE Team Member was probably too exhausted to up-sell a specific item. Quote:

»How did the team member suggest a product to complement your purchase?«

No product suggested (1)
“The team member asked me if I would like anything else in a robotic manner but didn’t suggest a particular product.”

Staff are expected for low wage, NO bonus, fear management and brainwash to bend themselves over day after day and then get reprimanded for being robotic. This is one of the worst types of abuses in the workplace that employees suffer.

.

.

Quote:

»How well did your server or any member of the team end the transaction by thank you and/or giving a pleasant parting comment?«

Parting Comment/Thank You Given (3)
“The team member said thank you but didn’t say anything else. I felt that she could have said enjoy or have a nice day.”

.

These kinds of comments I have read hundreds of time in my years in Pret. Extremely patronizing, unemphatic, and the power that Mystery Shoppers enjoy to want to have a conversation with and attention of a low-wage staff member who is burnt out. Depending on the business of a particular shop, but from my experience, a Team Member EASILY serves 300 – 500 people per day. And Pret expects them to smile, chat, give eye contact, kiss butt all day every day, and now even for no extra money. If staff don’t join Unions and go on strike they will continue to be degraded like this.

.

.

And these are non-scoring comments by the Mystery Shopper. The yellow highlighted I have quoted in red below. Dear Reader, please tell me how you would feel reading those comments after you have sweated day in day out for low wage, now no bonus, no rewards, just humiliating comments! And please don’t make it too easy on yourself by saying that staff can just find another job! Read this email a current Pret staff sent me: Pret don’t Care About Anyone.

Remember, the Barista or Coffee Maker has 60 seconds to get the drink ready into the customer’s hand or risk losing the WHOLE Team their bonus! This Misery Shopper was happy to be given his coffee in 36 seconds and then complains that it wasn’t well made! I wish I knew this particular MS, I would slap this Misery Shopper the report at his feet (I say “his” because the photo he took with the receipt in his hands clearly showed a male hand. Sounds like an arrogant, entitled, power-loving fathermucker!

Only one of many customer complaints on Twitter regarding long queues and only 1 or 2 staff members behind the counter:

and

Link

.

.

.

.

etc. etc. etc.

The MOST poignant staff review that painfully explains a day in Pret. I can underline every dot and comma of this review. I highlighted a view things and put the link underneath.

I still don’t know how I survived this stress! And even without having become suicidal, the pure stress and anxiety feels like can kill you! But I will never ever work in these kinds of conditions again! I’d rather be poor for the rest of my life and work in silence somewhere than in this exploitation:

Link

Dear Reader,
put yourself into the shoes of this particular Team Member (or any TM!) who served this Misery Shopper as the TM’s name will appear on the report.

You worked for hours that day, your Manager shouted at you in the office for little things and threatened you with a disciplinary because you aren’t fast enough making sandwiches, while being called from the kitchen to the tills constantly to serve customers as shops are ALWAYS under-staffed. You lost a loved one recently and have no choice but to work.

You worked already 8 days straight without a day off as there aren’t enough staff members and you feel manipulated to come to work on your day off. You feel too vulnerable to say no. You started at 5am everyday and this day until 3 or 4pm, now with unpaid breaks. So you cut your break short to not lose money and hope to get home as soon as possible.

You went through an intense morning coffee rush, and are now (after 1pm) in the middle of the extremely busy lunchtime rush. You are sweating, tinnitus screaming in your head, trying to concentrate, holding back the tears when thinking of the loved one you just buried a few weeks ago … you serve the Misery Shopper but don’t know it. You know you won’t get bonus or anything extra and ESPECIALLY no positive feedback whatsoever from your Manager or Team Leader. In fact, you (collaborative as a Team) are told to leave your problems at home and are expected to “wear a smile like you wear your uniform” (true story, actual words by a Manager I had!) …

And then you read comments like this after this particular Misery Shopper was “happy” that his coffee was ready in 36 seconds that he even timed on his stop-watch (phone) from burnt out low-wage staff:

“I would recommend based on the food only as the service was just average and the coffee wasn’t well made. I didn’t think the coffee had been properly prepared, because as I got to the last half of it, there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink and I was unable to continue drinking it.”

You leave your shift going home. You head for the bridge.

.

Former Pret A Manger staff Tweet

.

Several excerpts of Mystery Shoppers from different years and shops where staff were expected to smile, give eye contact to EVERY customer:

.

One Mystery Shopper report with most of 32 micromanaging questions from December 2019 (those questions include allergen questions):

.

A recent staff member’s email to me, excerpt in orange, full email via link:
Pret don’t Care About Anyone

.

Further reading on the Emotional Labour practices of large companies, please go to: The Dangers of Emotional Labour (how it harms service workers’ mental health). There I’ve listed some excellent articles by journalists and former service workers who became journalists.

.


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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, 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.

Day 5 – Hounded at Pret A Manger

5 December – Day 5 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

.

Last year’s Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2019

.


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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, 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.

Former CEO of Pret A Manger Clive Schlee

has withdrawn from public social media incl. deleting his Twitter account in July 2020 after I kept confronting him. He withdrew from press interviews and remains in the background of Pret as a non-executive director and mentor of Pano Christou. I call Christou Panocchio as he lied in an Evening Standard interview and beyond. Clive will be back to tell his sorry story after I kept and keep confronting his lack of leadership and steering Pret full steam ahead into an iceberg.

Clive, I will never stop addressing your lack of leadership which shows in your prodigy Panocchio, until you own up to your greed and exploiting those who are the true heroes of this economy.

Clive, you, HR and the OPs/Group Managers picked on the wrong person. You got away with customers having died and getting injured. You get away with amazing people being exploited and bullied. You just about got away from allowing me to get bullied after I buried my brother. But the conversation of Pret’s toxic ways will go beyond me raising it. Keep working on your story, and others will tell theirs.

And this is your legacy, Schlee. And mainstream media suck up to you because they are as weak as you are. We low-wage workers are vulnerable, but we ain’t weak.


.

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:


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.

Pret A Manger Seminar on Customer Service

In the spring of 2017 I still worked at Pret as a Team Leader of the shop floor (Floor Leader – FL) when Pret hired the prestigious London Barbican Center to hold a one to two week seminar in June on customer service. I can’t remember if it was two weeks, but certainly a whole week where Managers and Leaders from different areas where scheduled to attend.

The seminar theme was “Be Kind, Honest, Generous”. Pret did not hire the main Barbican hall, but several rooms upstairs including the Amphitheater. We were led through different rooms where presentations were held, like a video stream being shown on a hidden camera shoot that showed different shop staff members and the mistakes they made in customer service. I cringed at this because Pret already has a very patronizing, micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme where weekly visits happen to test every shop on service, cleanliness, amount of products available etc. If shops fail, the whole Team lose the bonus, even if only one staff member makes a mistake. If they succeed everyone receives a bonus and / or an individual staff member can earn an extra up to £200 if they kissed the Mystery Shopper’s butt extra sweet!

The invitation email in April for the seminar in June 2017. Every leader/manager/assistant manager was rotated from every area to come for a couple of hours one day. So, while my team leader colleague was working in my shop, I was scheduled to go to this seminar (in 05.06.2017), and when I worked the next day or day before, my team leader or assistant manager colleague was scheduled to go. And so with all other areas.

Email (press ctrl alt & + to enlarge):

.

A real Mystery Shopper report with the majority of the 32 micromanaging questions I put together on YouTube:

In a nutshell: Low-wage staff HAVE TO smile, chat, give eye contact etc. to present a “happy” image while in reality they are short-staffed, bullied to work fast, many are depressed, take pills or drink to cope with the daily stress. I myself was bullied during already traumatic bereavement, which I share at the bottom audio player interview on a podcast based in California.

Why am I writing about this? Why is this significant?

It was spring 2017 when Pret held this seminar for all Leaders in customer service, and for the Leaders then to pass what they’ve “learnt” to the Teams. There wasn’t really anything to learn, it was just one big brainwash in how to kiss butt even more. This was a year after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s tragic death from an unlabelled allergen (sesame) in a Pret baguette. But at the time I and my colleagues did not know about a customer having died, (let alone by Decmber 2017 TWO customers having died) from hidden allergen in Pret products.

I learnt like everyone else through the media in autumn 2018. And apart from being shocked, I was appalled that Pret did not only NOT tell us about this, but as a Team Leader whose job description also was health and safety, that I wasn’t even briefed or as much as HINTED to be more cautious and diligent about labelling and allergen!

Pret went full steam ahead with business as usual! Natasha’s mum points this out perfectly in about 0:20 into the video:

So, what did Pret do? Pret did a seminar on customer service and how to kiss butt for increased profit. We shop workers laughed about the theme of “be kind, honest, generous” as we knew Pret wasn’t kind, honest, generous. We knew how pretentious the company is and how we were pushed and drilled to present a happy image while being burdened down and lied to by management constantly. We were bullied on silly issues while important issues were ignored.

For example, in the seminar, in one of the rooms we were led through, a scenario was given where trans-sexual customers complained to Pret about being called “sir” when they were female or called “madam” when they were male or identified as a different gender. Or we simply made a mistake by accidentally addressing a customer the wrong way.

Tweet about the theme mentioning Sarah Bohn who’s part of Pret’s training department developing this seminar.

Sarah Bohn (red jacket) on a team-building trip.

I remember Lila Warren, (in above Tweet pictured on the very right – dark jacket/hair), one of the Development Managers from the training department, explaining in great detail that we should not call people sir or madam to not offend etc. I remember getting annoyed at this because Pret staff have one minute to serve customers or risk losing bonus and get fear managed. As a team member I myself served at LEAST about 500+ people in a 6 hour shift, especially when I worked in the morning coffee AND lunch rushes! The pace is so relentless as regular customers will know. The many Mystery Shopper questions that I listed in above YouTube slide show how staff are micromanaged and have to follow silly and unnecessary rules upon rules upon rules …

When a customer then looked male or female, we just simply were too busy, swamped with volumes of customers and work, and we were plainly exhausted from the same menial fake smiley tasks, then surely it cannot be a catastrophe to address a customer wrongly by MISTAKE. I did that a few times, apologized and even gave a free coffee.

YET! Pret did not see it important to hold a seminar on allergen and food labelling!

I write about Lila Warren on my blog as she was instrumental in my ordeal. In a nutshell, Lila Warren was tasked to give me a disciplinary when I spiralled into late night emailing to Pret after I was systemically bullied by Pret leadership under the watchful eye of the HR department. This had former CEO Clive Schlee call me his “late night girl”. I explain in detail in the audio player at the bottom.

Pret had no grounds to fire me. In fact Pret was worried that I’d go to court after what they put me through from the top down. I was offered 4 settlement offers if I resign and be silent about my ordeal. Three offers came while I worked at Pret refusing to resign, and the fourth offer came after I withdrew the court case that I filed against Pret. I withdrew as my dad just died at the time of preparing for the case. But as I declined all 3 money offers, Pret put Lila Warren on my case. And this was the most toxic and perverse thing Pret has done and that I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Lila claimed that she had a brother who died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for days. Just like my brother. She gave me a disciplinary for emailing Pret, but then entered into private emailing and text messaging with me, which resulted in me getting fired. It was a vile plan that I still recover from today.

Pret A Manger being “honest, kind and generous”?

Yikes! It’s the typical PR stunt that Pret is so known for. Ignoring multiple customer warnings on labelling before AND after customers have died. Bullying low-wage staff and HQ staff to the point of suicide to maximize profit. Mainstream media is in Pret’s pocket and they like to ignore my writings, but steal from it for their own press articles.

Pret could have EASILY re-shifted the seminar. I’m sure it took a year or so to prepare this seminar, getting rooms and the Amphitheater hired in the Barbican etc. But Pret could have easily re-shuffled the theme from “sliming” customers and kissing butt in service – to – allergen and labelling. Pret could have EASILY gotten in allergy experts to train us on the importance and the various forms of allergies. But no, they went full steam ahead with a seminar that I and my colleagues didn’t even learn anything new!

In hindsight, this seminar to me seems like the training department still had a huge annual budget to blow, and instead of getting less budget for the following year, they just came up with a “seminar” that none of us needed, as we were already doing the butt-kissing and smliey service drilled via weekly Mystery Shoppers.

And in hindsight also, I am offended big time that Pret not only did NOT inform us about Natasha having died, that Pret didn’t even as much as HINT for us to be cautious with allergen and labelling, no instead they wasted money on a Barbican seminar that we didn’t need! I would have wanted to get trained or re-trained on health and safety issues, on allergen etc. etc. Pret didn’t even need to lie to us if they didn’t want to tell us of a customer death and several injuries, Pret could have been HONEST to us, KIND to customers and GENEROUS with INFORMATION and TRAINING on allergen!!!

Pret didn’t even needed to lie, they could have been HONEST and tell us that many customers have complained to Pret to start labelling the food! BAM! And THEN Pret could have gotten experts in to train us! I am OFFENDED that Pret did NOTHING!!! Deeply offended!

If this doesn’t show how little Pret cares, I don’t know what will. I cannot find any information on the Barbican seminar, but I still have the invite email from Pret. Also, anyone from the press can contact the Barbican itself and inquire about the spring 2017 Pret seminar. I’m sure they can find the info quick as everything that Pret did and still do is always a big deal for venues and business people.

More former and current Pret staff will stand up. Several lawsuits are coming up and Pret’s facade keeps getting cracked.

Just few of the many Pret staff reviews:


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

NOTE: Since WordPress changed to a new editing system, some features don’t work anymore. If the below audio player doesn’t work, please visit my MEDIA page where it works and other articles are listed.


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.

»Congratulations, everyone hates Pret«


New reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed. For lack of time I pick out one that gave me the chuckles!

It’s time to update the long list of staff complaints and video slides!

Link



Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper report and why low-wage staff always smile so much and give freebies! In below YouTube slideshow the Mystery Shopper rewarded the staff member £100 for giving a freebie:


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:


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.

Pret A Manger announces Employee Benefit CUTS

 

Note: If you see this page on white background, but prefer to read on a green background, please delete amp/ in above url and reload.

Or click here: https://expret.org/2020/07/07/pret-a-manger-announces-employee-benefit-cuts

 

Thank you to Pret A Manger Employees for your courage to inform the public and colleagues! Join a Union!

After a video was leaked to me last week, which I passed on to the press, that Pret will make a bulk announcement on the “job situation” on 8th July, Pret made that shop closure and job cuts announcement to the press yesterday and further announcements to staff a few minutes ago today (07. July).

Pret’s announcement came via Zoom call again a day after telling the press.

The following cuts Pret is doing, apart from shop closures and job cuts among other things:

  • The shops that remain open will have a reduced number of Team Members (like always! LOL!)
  • No more paid breaks
  • The hourly Mystery Shopper bonus goes from £1 per hour down to 50p per hour
  • The 50% rebates on purchases outside working hours goes down to 25%
  • Full time contracted hours of 35 down to 28 hours for those who remain. No choice. And knowing Pret and their management style, it will be less than 28 hours. Good luck!

Please be aware that for the previous benefits, Pret front-line staff have to work twice for it.

And it wasn’t CEO Pano Christou making the announcement like he did in the leaked video. This announcement was made again via a Zoom session, but this time by a FEMALE regional Manager, as usual. Pano (like Clive Schlee) wouldn’t get their hands dirty like that. And as usual, they use a woman to face the music!

My thoughts among other things, but I won’t elaborate anymore: I’d rather have no staff discount but a paid break. Staff discounts still pull money out of employee’s pockets. Not to mention the free coffees/teas and 50% rebates to NHS staff recently and Pret raising money for homeless people while potentially putting own staff on the streets.

If people think that the previous benefits before the cut are generous perks, please know that Pret workers have to slave double for it. Pret had NO choice then to give a little more than the competition as the company is extremely micromanaging with a bullying culture. When people start new in Pret, they seem to get higher wage and benefits, but little do they know that they will 1. work double for it and 2. won’t get promotions for years! And now, they get so many cuts, unless they are desperate for a job, many may walk out now.

Only 3 of the many General Manager (GM) reviews on how employees are overworked, not paid for overtime:

2019-10-11 Showered with benefits in the beginning

Link

2019-08-10 No work life balance

Link

GM Horrible

Link

Some more of the many complaints:

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

©2020 expret.org


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.

Pret A Manger’s “Strong” Espresso Shot

Ever wondered why Pret staff refuse to say “double” espresso and why Pret advertises as “strong” espresso, or “make it strong”? Let me spill the coffee beans!

This pertains to all espresso based drinks like “strong latte”, “strong cappuccino” etc. I will just refer to all espresso drinks as espresso or shot.

.

.

.

Upfront, I’ve always been gobsmacked to see when a customer speaks down on a Team Member, who often is a foreigner. In above instance of Tim Bentinck who arrogantly ends his Tweet with, “Long discussion on use of English ensues”.

Well , read on and learn WHY the Team Member insisted on calling it a “strong” espresso, smarty-pants! Because if the TM would have called it a double espresso, he/she would have gotten in trouble! Has nothing to do with workers’ lack of English! And before anyone criticizes my English, because that’s what people do when they run out of arguments, English is not my first language. I learnt English as an adult, and I think I’m doing pretty well!

I am not up to date on the prices of an “extra” shot of espresso in any cafè or chain. So, for the sake of example I just use 50p for an extra shot at any or all cafès.

In most, if not all cafès/chains if you want an extra shot of espresso you will pay 50p on top of the regular espresso drink you ordered. So far so good.

But what does Pret do? They charge you 50p for HALF a shot, NOT a full espresso shot. Other brands charge 50p for a full extra espresso shot where Pret delivers half a shot and that’s why they call it NOT “double” espresso/shot but “strong” espresso/shot.

In other brands a double espresso is TWO full shots of espresso.

In Pret they would do false advertisement if they’d call it “double”, so they make it 1.5 shots of espresso and call it “strong”. Pret plays with psychology and assumption while never claiming to serve 2 full shots.

Customers ASSUME that “make it strong” for an extra 50p they get an extra full shot. Nopes. They get an extra HALF shot. The buttons on Pret’s Cimbali machines are programmed to grind a certain amount of grams for 1 full espresso shot and the other “strong” button has a slightly higher weight but not 2 full shots.

This is also the reason why staff are instructed to NOT pour a “strong” espresso into the small single shot espresso cup. Because if they do, the customer would see that a strong fits into the small cup and would get suspicious that this is indeed NOT 2 shots, but 1.5 shots.

And here’s an ironic example of a white “strong” (perceived as double) espresso. It even has space for milk very comfortably in a SINGLE shot espresso cup!

.

.

Above single shot cup (with a strong shot inside perceived as double shot) versus the 8oz cup where Pret serves strong shots to hide how stingy it is. The 8oz cup is also used for Pret’s Flat White for the same price as Pret’s 12oz Latte/Cappuccino 😉

.

.

I drew a rough line where the “strong” espesso measures. And I measured it GENEROUSLY!

.

.

A larger cup gives the illusion that there are 2 or a double shot. A larger cup gives the illusion that they NEED a larger cup so that a “double” fits in, while a single shot cup holds 1.5 shot very comfortably, even with added milk!

And Pret again plays with psychology and customers’ self-doubt, who give Pret the benefit of the doubt. Even though a “strong” espresso in the larger 8oz cup looks pretty stingy, the customers assumes that because the cup is larger, it just seems stingy. Well, it truly IS stingy!

TRUST your senses!

Again, Pret is not doing anything wrong or illegal, they just do what Pret does best: play with psychology and people’s assumptions.

If you doubt about the amount of espresso, go to any Pret, buy 2x single espressos and 1 strong espresso. So, get 3 drinks in 3 cups, 2 single espressos and 1 strong espresso.

The strong espresso will be served in an 8oz cup (unless they run out). Whatever cup you’ll get the strong espresso, ask the server for this same EMPTY cup, but don’t tell the server why.

Then pour the 2 single espressos into that same size (8oz) empty cup and compare the strong espresso 8oz cup to the 2 single espressos in the other 8oz cup.

And then go to Caffè Nero where you get a regular latte, cappuccino etc. with 2 shots by default and any brand who advertise AND serve double espresso without the BS terminology and psychology that Pret use to fool customers with since decades.

You can also do a different experiment. Ask for a “strong espresso in a single espresso (small) cup”. If the Team Member is new, he/she will order it the way you ask. But then then Barista (if they’re experienced) will refuse to make it in the single shot cup. You can then ask why not. The Barista/Team Leader/Manager will fight tooth and nail to avoid having to tell you that they don’t use a single shot cup for a reason. They may even lie, saying that the single shot cup is too small!

But you can ask them to do it anyway! They might do it or not. But if they do it in the single cup, you can then ask why a strong shot fits into a single shot cup etc. Again, they will fight tooth and nail to avoid telling you that it is in reality 1.5 shots or even less, not 2 shots. They probably will never tell you that to avoid longer discussions.

You can then ask how many grams a single shot of espresso has versus a strong shot, and do your calculations from there.

A former Pret Barista also confirms this. The feed is worth reading as they explain also about a “strong” DECAFF shot:

.

Link to feed

In my 10 years in Pret (mostly as a shop Team Leader/management) I had only ONE customer who knew about this. In a very calm but assertive way he specifically asked for: “TWO separate shots of espresso in one cup charged as a strong espresso, please“. He often had a cheeky smile while ordering, which I returned! No problem, sir!

My Manager hated that customer, but gave in as an exception. The customer was such a regular and VERY persistent on this, that we already informed any new staff member to accept his request before he even entered the shop. So, good luck to the rest of ya!

Finally, do the math yourself! If you have 1 cup of strong espresso every day for a year at Pret, plus minus holidays etc. Monday to Friday. You would get 360 cups of 1.5 shots versus 480 double / 2 shots. Meaning, you get 360 individual espresso shots vs. 480 individual shots. Probably less as you have to subtract holidays. But I just leave it at this over a 5 work-day week, 4 week month and 12 months year.

The mind-game is, you were “cheated” out of 120 shots of espresso annually, plus minus via psychology and terminology! And Pret would put the fault at you for making assumptions as they do not advertise double shots. And they’d be right!

That’s why the coffee margin at Pret compared to their food is through the roof! They make a sh!tload of money from coffee as the highest profit to any other product. And a cup of, let’s say latte, for companies like Pret including cup, lid, milk, labour etc. is no more then about 30p plus minus. That is also why I have always questioned HOW Pret’s coffee can be organic, because they get it so cheap.

.

Link to article

Pret already informed an inquiring customer that their coffee isn’t fair-trade anymore. And to be frank, I simply don’t believe that Pret pays “sometimes” more than fair-trade as it’s claimed here in the Facebook response. It’s just typical Pret bla-bla and 99.9% of customers swallow everything Pret tells them. Really sad!

.

.

Bottom line, if Pret would advertise double or extra shot, but serve 1.5 shots, they’d get in legal trouble, at least with the Advertising Standards Agency that slapped Pret regarding their “natural” claim.

Ever wondered why the word “natural” has disappeared off all Pret’s signage and packaging? Here’s why, that was truly false advertisement: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat.

But with the “strong” espresso display, Pret’s not doing anything wrong or illegal. In other brands you’d get a full extra shot or 480 shots for the same additional 50p price (or whatever price it is now), as they advertise double or extra shot.

Support small independent businesses!

.


.

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.

My Pret A Manger Ordeal

A “Mind Map” Courtesy of

MindMeister.com

This link My Pret A Manger Ordeal is a simple and easier overview to link straight to some of the most important blog entries, summarizing my trauma with Pret A Manger. There is much more writing on my website / blog, but the links on the map are the main articles to narrow down, pointing to the main issues of my trauma with Pret.

On the “map”:

  • click on the – minus bottom right to decrease and get an overview of the whole map
  • click on the dots to expand or close menu.
  • click on the -> arrow on a particular title to link straight to the article
  • hold the mouse clicked, “grabbing” it to move map around as you would with Google map

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

.


.

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 Merde

 

Nothing more to add … EXCEPT pointing out the spelling mistake! That reviewer wasn’t Pret perfect here!

“Oh no! Sorry about that. Could you DM us and let us know which shop this was from?”
— Pret A Merde

 

Pret A Merde

 

JavaScript required to view slideshow. May not work on mobile devices without Wifi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be paused

 

The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 

 


 

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:

©2020 expret.org


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.

Pret A Migraine

 

… I love the creative writing / titles on some of the reviews!

Nothing more to add to this review. I’m learning to keep my posts short, also for lack of time (lucky reader!).

 

2020-01-30 Pret A Migraine - RVW31598406

Link

JavaScript required to view slideshow. May not work on mobile devices without Wifi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be paused

 

The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 


 

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:

©2020 expret.org


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.

Shocking Comments

 

A Pret customer on Twitter responded to the blog post on the bullying environment in Pret that I tweeted, where a Manager was “Caught in the Act” bullying a Team Member right in front of customers. I posted many Pret staff reviews from Glassdoor, Indeed, YouTube, Twitter etc. on the systemic bullying environment of Pret, including in Head Office.

I get many responses, mostly of shock, as people have been presented with a clean, ethical image of Pret. I also get a lot of “hate”. I get blocked, cussed out, reported, ignored etc. And that is expected. And at times in my drunken state I have lashed out at people and received appropriate responses. My apologies again to all who were at the receiving end of my drunken Tweets. It’s a trauma thing I do, but it’s not an excuse! So, when people hit back, it’s completely understandable and I accept it.

But the “hate” I get most of the time is when I tweet in a normal or neutral way just raising awareness on Pret. And the opposition of course is expected.

But one person responded, who seems to really care, and asked a question I have asked myself many times:

»These comments are shocking.
Why isn’t the public aware of this mistreatment?«

 

2020-01-09 Shocking comments

Link

I explained a little bit in 3 Tweets, but want to put this into a blog post to not be limited in characters or get shadow banned.

My take on this, after over a year of hitting my head against a wall, is several reasons. I believe the following as a mix of reasons, in no particular order:

  • Most or many don’t care, like in real life, they are bystanders or show indifference. I literally had people tell me that they don’t care after I pointed Pret work environment out to them.

 

  • Also, many people flock to success, they are drawn to big shiny things and great stories. It’s human nature to want to believe a fairy-tale and what a company, organization or person “sells” to us as ethical, “natural” and good. Some people were so shocked about the reviews that I linked to, that they wrote things like: “I wish I never mentioned Pret” after I gave them a peek behind the facade. Or another Tweeter said, “Why are you doing this to me?” – as if I was ripping their illusions apart. We all have seen people or comedy where one person tells another person a truth, but the listener in a silly way holds their ears closed and starts talking or singing loud, so as not to have to hear the truth that is being told, like in this brief scene with Jim Carrey in >>> Dumb & Dumber. And this is how it sometimes comes across with Pret’s work practices that I post and the responses by people on social media.
    A great quote by Nietzsche sums this up well:

Illusion

 

  • I have several accounts on social media as my Tweets are censored (hidden from the public) which then hides my writings from Twitter in general and can’t even be found in search. Only when people go directly onto my Twitter feed are Tweets visible during a shadow ban. But who would do that, especially when not knowing about my account?! And Twitter knows that, denies that they shadow ban, yet even said that people “may have to do more work to find” Tweets. I responded to their right out lying about this in a Tweet over Christmas 2018 after I just became aware of shadow banning. More on shadow banning, which is modern-day secret censorship, and how they do it, please watch this undercover report on YouTube.

 

  • Mainstream media KNOWS my blog, but is in Pret’s pocket. I have contacted HUNDREDS of media people! Sure, they are worried of getting sued, but there are other journalists who wrote about Pret’s emotional labour practices. I collect their writings here: The Dangers of Emotional Labour. So, it IS possible to write about Pret without any repercussions. My writings are the most comprehensive, and if I can do it, anyone can, especially telling my own story AND pulling info from other Pret staff into one place, cross-referencing from other publications as well. 

 

  • Unions want to unionize staff, but I don’t know where this is at and I know that Pret staff are scared, often even too scared to leave, like I was. This recent review, marked in red, by a Manager I can absolutely relate to as Pret steeps employees in fear and brainwashing them. And this is not only in Scotland, as I worked in over a dozen Pret shops in London with my own horrific story with even Pret’s top leadership:

GM

Link

  • The majority of people are followers, not leaders taking risks. So, for example I myself as this “little” person raising awareness, I am unknown, unpopular, have 30 followers here, 2 there etc. Nothing “special”. If ONE person clicks like or RT on my Tweet or even goes a step further and comments in support, even though I am “nobody”, unknown, out of my mind in trauma at times etc. this person is a leader. If I was a known or famous person with 3 million followers and would write exactly the same thing, or even something banal, I would get thousand of likes, RT’s, would probably start a revolution! So, a person who shows their support on my Tweets is a leader, because they don’t go with the flow, but with what THEY value and stand for, regardless what others believe. Now, that doesn’t mean that everything I say or tweet is right, and everyone who agrees with me is right, but my point here is that people who “dare” to agree or support an unknown person is a leader who takes risks against the flow. In society, and especially on social media, it’s not about WHAT you post or stand for, but how many followers and likes you have, regardless what BS you may post.

 

be-careful-when-blindly-following-the-masses-sometimes-the-m-26295700

 

  • As the bullying in Pret is systemic it seems like such a big mountain to overcome. The number one “argument” I get on social media is, “well, this is everywhere in the world with all big companies”. My response is always that just because this seems (not is!) everywhere, doesn’t mean I have to settle for it! Also, that was exactly the complacency that people have and had before the #metoo movement grew and started kicking butt! “Well, that’s just what men do!” Nopes! Unacceptable! After what I’ve been through (my story with Pret is in the audio player and articles at the bottom of this post), I have come to the conclusion that life is just way too short to be exploited, stepped upon and thrown away like garbage!

 

  • I also asked health organizations like the Health and Safety Executive from the government, and other organisations and charities, for independent investigation into Pret staff deaths, particularly suicides. I wrote emails with detailed accounts to these health bodies, but they only investigate physical accidents at work that lead to death and investigate if they are work-related. I then continued to contact the press. I even contacted newspapers that I don’t like at all, just to call out for help like I’m drowning in despair! But apart from a handful of Journalists who cover the subject of emotional labour, there is not much interest, and those who showed interest seem to just want a quick story, but this subject needs thorough investigation and back-up. I was contacted by a Sunday Mirror reporter just soon after the first customer death from a Pret product became public. But at the time I wasn’t ready for the press and the journalist was apprehensive about getting sued by Pret for covering my story. But I suggested to the Journalist to go undercover into Pret, and I was proud to learn that she did! I commented on her experience in “Undercover Under Pressure“.

 

  • My take also is, that the public frankly doesn’t care about low-wage workers in the fast-food industry or service work. I put a blog post together on suicides in companies and the toxic environment of Amnesty International: “Why is Pret A Manger not being Investigated on Staff Deaths?
    I mention the recent court case in France where 35 employees died by suicide. I followed this when it first broke in the news 10 years ago, then disappeared and now the former bosses have been convicted. At the time of my blog entry the case just started.
    Also, an independent investigation has been done after TWO Amnesty International staff members died by suicide and their detailed findings of Amnesty’s toxic work environment. In Pret I know of also TWO staff members who died by suicide, plus one who became suicidal, went to court against Pret, but lost. Plus myself having survived after having had close calls. Yet, no-one seems to be interested, as I believe fast-food workers are not a priority, compared to human rights activists or the sheer high number of suicides that cannot be ignored.

In Pret there were two suicides that I know of, plus two suicidal people (the man who lost his case against Pret and myself), plus the many staff reviews on depression, bullying etc. There must be more.

And with this, I want to keep this blog post short, compared to the long explanations I usually make. I want to thank Marina Lambrou for caring enough to ask this question! And I want to thank all the people who have liked, RT’d, commented, DM’d and emailed me. I have had some amazing encouraging words from customers and staff alike. I will not out them of course, but one email from a customer made my day a while ago. This customer tweeted to Pret about having received their first free coffee and how exciting this give-away scheme is etc. I just posted the Mystery Shopper YouTube slide to them, where I put excerpts of real Mystery Shopper reports. But in the video I concentrated on the smiley service and posted only about 5 – 6 questions out of the 30 (THIRTY!) that Mystery Shoppers are tasked to test staff on every week! I said nothing more and just let the video do the “talking” where staff are tested if they smile, give eye contact, chat, give freebies etc. These Mystery Shopper reports show how staff “have to” be so cheery and efficient NON-STOP in a high stress workplace to not lose bonus. So, the public thinks that Pret is such a friendly and happy workplace, while in reality it’s fear managed and driven by cash incentives.

About an hour later, I already forgot about their Tweet, as I move on quickly to post to other people, not having a big platform to reach the “masses”. The person emailed me via my contact form and said these very simple, brief, but touching words that had me in tears:

»Hey, I just posted thanking Pret for a free coffee. Thank you for raising attention to this, I had no idea. I shall let others know too. And of course I’ve taken down that tweet. I’m sorry that you had such an awful time at Pret.«

I checked, and the person really took down their Tweet. These kind of responses and feedback keep me going! I read many times on people’s Twitter profile things like, “changing the world, one tweet at a time”. And the thought that if what I post would reach more people quicker, instead of painstakingly contacting individuals one by one, what opportunity and change may actually come! But it’s worth the slow progress, one Tweet at a time, one more shadow ban, and one more time getting blocked and reported. It’s worth it.

Thank you for reading.

 

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

©2020 expret.org


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.

Tut Tut Tut – New MANAGER Review

Again, I’ve got little time to expand, but a new Manager review on Glassdoor just got dropped on my lap.

Quote:

“Not the kind and caring business it presents itself as to the outside world”

“I worked at Pret A Manger full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

Some amazing team members and staff who give their all and are wonderful to work with

Cons

Kind and hard working people don’t get recognised
Those willing to step on others make it to the top
Talk the talk but actually don’t live by the values they preach” Link

Nothing more to add!

 

Except, a similar review from a Team Member recently, quote:

“Not as they present it”

“Too much stress for poor pay. They expect you to work like machines so if you’re not fast enough you are not worth it for them. Managers are abusive and take advantage of team members. No balance between life/work, you spend all the time in there. Overtime is not payed.

Advice to Management

Don’t give all the job to one person when the store has a ton of employees.” Link

 


 

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 an article in the

Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:
©2019 expret.org
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.

Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger

If you have no time to read,
please scroll to all the screenshots further down below.

(And read the comments at the very bottom of this page.)

01 Go back to UK

Review by a Corporate, NYC


This is the REALITY of Pret A Manger behind the facade WORLDWIDE. The clean facade of freebies, the forced smiles (tested by Mystery Shoppers), the “ethical” front of Pret that got away with 2 customer deaths, a third allergy reaction nearly fatal (new court-case in November 2020), several injured, multiple warnings ignored etc. Seeking independent investigation into a staff suicide.

 

UPDATE: LAWSUIT filed against Pret in NYC for racism and discrimination (bottom of page).

2019-12-24 FL review NEVER go to Pret

Link (More reviews further below in this blog post)


2018 Chaotic hellhole ambience

A rare complaint from Hong Kong where most people put their heads down and continue under hard conditions:

2020-01-30 Pret staff Hong Kong complaint

Link to Tweet. An online conversion from HKD 45 to British Pound is roughly £4.65 an hour! And Pret didn’t even respond to the Tweet.

UPDATE: August 2021:

2021-08-27 Manager shocking to staff

.

A VERY common bullying incident from a Manager towards a Team Member. But this time it didn’t happen behind the facade in the kitchen, office or staff room, hidden away from customers, this time it happened in front of customers. The “ethical profile” of Pret is a facade the public still believes, because the bullying is usually happening behind the scenes, away from customers’ eyes. And then, when the Manager or Leader has finished bullying the staff member, the intimidated and humiliated Team Member then is send out to the shop floor, and expected to smile for Mystery Shopper bonus and fool customers with a fake happiness. And as many are from other countries, young, have children to feed or Uni tuition to pay, they feel stuck, too exhausted to find a new job and not knowing where to turn to.

2019-12-11 Trapped marked

Link

Fear of leaving

Link (Excerpt of Manager review)

And when the bullying is happening on the shop floor, shops are so noisy with loud music, shouting of staff to make and get coffee orders, talking, busyness. Customers are occupied on their phones or laptops, distracted with talking, eating etc. So, when it happens in the shop, people don’t even notice.

Even when I was bullied during bereavement under the watchful eye of HR, I NEVER told a customer or colleague. I was complimented by customers and received rewards from Mystery Shoppers for my service, smile, giving freebies etc. And after my shift at times I headed for the bridge and still don’t know how I survived. But none of my colleagues and customers knew my inner state and turmoil. I explain in detail at the very bottom YouTube slide about what weekly Mystery Shoppers test staff on, or via this link: “Smile for the Misery Shopper“.

This creates a host of mental health issues under Emotional Labour, that staff are forced to perform. What @Katecordon witnessed here and confronted Pret in below Tweet, is so familiar to me, and this would be a situation where I as a Team Leader then had to console the Team Member crying in the staff room and at times speak to the Manager. Only ONE time when I spoke to the Manager why they shouted at the TM, this Manager apologized to the TM. But this was only one Manager out of many who did not apologize and rather bullied me then as well for speaking out. But I didn’t care!

The Team Member in below customer Tweet made a very simple, innocent, normal mistake. No big deal. And by the way, the TM made that mistake because she was most likely NOT trained in the first place! The Manager must have stood nearby witnessing this mistake. To correct the mistake the TM then did give the 10% discount, but explained at the same time that she made a mistake and gave the 10% as a one-off. PERFECT customer service!!! In fact, a Mystery Shopper would have probably given the TM an “outstanding card”, meaning the extra £100 reward, or even £200 if the overall scores were perfect. Mystery Shoppers many times gave the reward, even when a mistake happened, but they rewarded the staff member due to how they handled the mistake.

The same is by law, when a price tag gives an old cheaper price even though the price has increased, the business is obligated to charge that old cheaper price, even if the till system is updated with the new expensive price. But this TM probably doesn’t know the law on this and did instinctively the right thing because she cares! The TM here did a perfect, correct and kind customer service, but was bullied by the Manager for making a simple mistake and then giving the 10% discount as a good will gesture, which is commendable! And this Manager is particularly offensive by talking down on the customer as well: “It’s company policy, love“. Very, very, very, very common bullying incident in Pret! Bullying and fear management by the book.

The reason this Manager makes a huge issue out of the 10% discount wrongly given as a student discount, is that Pret only does regular discounts in some places like malls or train stations (but not all malls or stations), where the other companies and train station staff within that station or mall get a 10% discount showing their staff badge. So, this Manager would have to do half a minute of paper work to explain for the financial file why the 10% was given in this Manchester airport, that doesn’t give student discounts. Managers hate to do little paper work issues like this as they want their financial records to look perfect. I got in trouble many times for doing it the proper way in recording mistakes, because Managers didn’t like mistakes in their financial files and rather stress staff to not make these mistakes. And at one time I’ve had enough and told one Manager that if a financial file is perfect without any mistakes, this would ring alarm bells with me if I was a financial auditor. But that’s another story. And honest mistakes that are effectively recorded can be traced back in the system and explained. Again, no big deal.

And also by the way, this Manager most likely continued the bullying later in the office, as bullying Pret managers and leaders can’t let go and continue later on, especially when caught out by customers and they “lost face” in front of the TM they just bullied. So, they try to “establish” authority and continue behind closed doors. I hope that young lady finds quick support! And if this Manager is disciplined by Pret, then only because he got caught by a customer who called him out publicly, like he did with his Team Member. If the TM alone would have complained to HR, nothing would have happened.

This shows as well in the very first review from the new LAX Pret shop that was opened in the summer 2019. I could not have put it into better words how this bullying environment thrives in Pret worldwide. I love American reviews, because they find amazing words!:

LAX

Link

Caught in the act!

A customer witnessed very common and regular bullying:

2019-10-28 Bullying manager seen by customer2

Full text:

2019-10-28 Bullying manager seen by customer3

Link to Tweet

A little reality check and crash course of Pret’s “ethical” profile. What staff dare to say in anonymity, away from the fear management. Clive Schlee “retired” with quite a legacy!

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

2019-10-02 Pano 38 26

Glassdoor scores on Pret and its leadership. I wrote a new blog post as well on >>>  Pret’s new CEO Pano Christou, and Clive Schlee remaining in the background as a non-executive Director, while on his Twitter account he still presents himself as the CEO of Pret! (UPDATE: July 2020, Schlee’s Twitter account has also been deleted in July 2020). I explain in above blog why Pano Christou deleted his Twitter account. Clive Schlee let Pano Christou take over on Glassdoor already in July 2019, even though Schlee’s retirement was set for September 2019. This typical passing the buck downwards is to avoid further negative scoring. And yet, still not taking responsibility.

UPDATE: 20. Nov. 2021: