Pret A Manger Lawsuits & Settlements

Below are just a few of the recent or repeated lawsuits Pret has faced and/or settled. Some lawsuits have disappeared off the news, and it may be because the plaintiffs settle out of court and signed an NDA, like the former staff lawsuit on racism. The case completely disappeared off the news.

Many customers on social media complain that Pret has raised prices to 20-24%.

Apart from getting more money of course, it is to cater to the owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns. Also serving shareholders and Pret executives, it may be that because Pret is facing settlement payments, who better to foot the bill than customers.

In the USA people sue very quick, while in the UK, even after customers died, hardly anyone is suing, and when they do, Pret keeps winning. The legal systems in the USA and the UK can’t be further apart.

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A staff member in the USA mentioned the constant lawsuits against Pret:

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There are ongoing lawsuits, at least six against Pret in the USA for unpaid rents. And even though Pret got help from the Government for employee costs during Covid, has received a cash injection from owners JAB Holdings of £185 million, have been awarded £100 million from shareholders etc. These are what Pret received. Another £87 million Pret is trying to get from the banks.

Altogether Pret received Government help and privately £285 million plus trying to get another £87 million. All the while refusing to pay bills and many customers feel cheated on the subscription service, hardly getting the items they’ve been told they’d get.

BBC report: Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal and many other issues that customers AND staff raise with Pret or the press.

The money Pret received, they don’t use to pay their rents and debt, they use it to open 200 more shops. Pret lowered wages, benefits, paid breaks of already stretched and burnt out front-line workers, then raised the wage to £10 after a lot of public pressure and a strike announcement. But the raise is still UNDER the living wage and Pret just made a big PR announcement about it! Staff are still worse off than already before.

Pret raise prices, refuse to pay the bills etc. etc. And now customers and staff foot the bill under the inflation umbrella.

Article: Pret A Manger facing millions in Lawsuits for unpaid rents.

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A few recent lawsuits, some that have been settled, others that are still ongoing or settled and plaintiffs can’t speak about it.

One of the most troubling ones, and where Pret is showing their TYPICAL naughty streak is the fingerprinting of employees in Illinois. The $677,000 settlement is really peanuts, because 800 current/former staff will get around $500+ each AFTER legal aid took their share.

Link: Pret A Manger Fingerprinting Class Action Suit Reaches Settlement

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While I’m with staff lawsuits, Pret had to repay TWICE 4000 staff for “shaving off” (rounding down), cheating staff out of pay. I write about this here: Wage Theft in Pret

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And another former staff lawsuit regarding racism in several NYC shops. This is the lawsuit that has disappeared off the public and press, unless I’m not searching right. Link: Lawsuit vs Pret A Manger on Racism with a link to the full court document.

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I can’t find any more info on this lawsuit and its outcome. I suspect that it was settled and the plaintiff Ms. Battle may have signed an NDA. Hence, we won’t hear of it anymore in the public. But it’s just my guess.

Regarding Allergen Lawsuits – So far Pret has won them ALL, unless something got settled out of court and so is not in the public knowledge.

Pret has set aside £10 million for allergen lawsuits and keep winning cases, even after two customers have died and 20+ allergen injuries Pret ignored until it all blew up in the media. Pret won because they didn’t break any law. and YET, Pret still don’t label in Paris and Dubai according to customers there. The UK now has “Natasha’s Law”, so it is LAW to label food. And which ever country outside the UK that does not have labelling laws, Pret just goes ahead and DON’T label! So far to the “meaningful change” Pret promised in 2018 when the deaths and injuries were revealed.

More here: Pret do NOT label food in Dubai, Paris

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Instead of setting ONLY aside £10 million for lawsuit settlements, Pret should continue to invest in LABELLING also outside of the UK. In the UK “Natasha’s Law” is now in effect since October 2021, but Pret AGAIN will blame laws in other countries should another customer die or get injured.

Pret set aside £10 million for food allergy scandal costs

And other lawsuits that are older or settled out of court.

One important lawsuit and challenge by the Advertising Standards Authority is on Pret’s “Natural” claim. Many people either haven’t noticed yet, or don’t know why Pret removed the word “natural” off all their signage and packaging. I explain here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat

etc. etc. etc.

One interesting lawsuit that was won against Pret RE-founder and itsu founder Julian Metcalfe where former Pret CEO Clive Schlee was involved (who owns half of itsu) is from 2002, quote from The Caterer article:

A senior chef last week won his unfair dismissal case against Julian Metcalfe, founder of both the Pret A Manger sandwich-shop chain and Itsu sushi restaurants in London.

Clive Fretwell, who had worked for 14 years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, told a Woburn employment tribunal he had been recruited in 1988 to help develop a chain of Itsu restaurants.

He said the intention had been to give him a 2.5% founding stake in the business and an additional 10% in two years, with the possibility of ‘big money’ if it were sold. When a second restaurant, which opened two years later, failed to live up to expectations, Fretwell claimed he became aware that Metcalfe and Itsu co-director Clive Schlee were trying to get rid of him.

He said he was told last July that the company could not afford his salary, and he was dismissed in August.

The compensation agreed was undisclosed.” End of quote.

Link

And to wrap it up, Pret’s year in review 2021:

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Overtime Not Paid

Here I list only a few of the many Pret staff reviews and complaints about being pressured and pushed for time. How they are pushed to work so fast they HAVE TO cut corners like on hand-washing, hygiene, cross contamination etc.

I witnessed this time and time again, having to prompt staff to wash their hands in-between production of different items (from meat to veggie) and after the toilet etc. Pret does have standards in place and a book to tick boxes of duties, incl. hand washing done. But these boxes are mostly just ticked and the jobs are not done because time is money… as usual. Doing all the duties expected will slow the teams down and get them in trouble. It’s a lose-lose situation which some of the below reviews show so clearly. And I have witnessed this countless times. As staff are not paid overtime, they stop caring. Period. The public is fooled by the shiny PR[et] facade, not matter how many customers die, they want to believe the fairy tale that is Pret A Manger.

Illusion

I let the reviews speak for itself.

LackStaff

Link Barista 2019

Unpaid

Link 2018

Unpaid2017

Link 2017 NY

Unpaid2

Link 2015

Unpaid2014b

Link 2014

Unpaid2011

Link 2011 NY

“It is clear they have little to know training and have absolutely no training or experience in employee relations or even customer relations for that matter. Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company itself. …Very, very sad reality of Pret. -Company culture….”

Unpaid2014

Link 2014 “Manager at my shop treated everyone really poorly. Expect you to stay longer to complete your job for free when not enough time is given. Constantly missing hours from extra shifts taken. Have to ask every week to see if they have repaid those hours and in some cases takes months to chase back.”

NOTE: The “for some reason” is more systemic than this and many other TMs realize. I had to chase my money CONSTANTLY.

25 Staff complain in Twitter not paid HR

Link

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Link

Pret had to settle two class action lawsuits in NY within 4 years on wage issues. In the UK people never do a Class Action, but it would be high time for Pret staff to go to court on wage issues!

Wgae Lawsuit

Link

Customer observations:

2018-10-20 Staff cry

Link

2019-03-22 Customer Noticing busyness Pret1

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2019-03-22 customer kings cross emma observation stress

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The 1 minute rule to serve customers which the weekly Mystery Shopper probes. If even ONE staff member takes too long, the whole team loses the bonus.

Mystery Shopper excerpt:

1 Minute Smile

The kitchen have targets of doing a certain amount of sandwiches/items per hour. The above reviews explain the system how they are pushed with little time given and then expected to stay longer, unpaid. UK Pret workers should file a class action like their colleagues did in the U.S.

More extensive writing about this in “The Truth behind the Pret A Manger Smile” and “How Emotional Labour Harms us all

More general complaints:

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in —> Pret Staff Complaints

Article: Why is Pret A Manger not being Investigated on Two recent Staff Deaths?


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:

©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.