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

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

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

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

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

»Not the same company anymore

Pros
Free crap food and coffees if you care

Cons
A toxic environment that doesn’t stimulate growth.

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

Its culture and values? Only mere advertisements.

Its promotions? Crap marketing strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

Advice to Management

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

Link to review.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

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

Let’s have some FUN!

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

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

The Molly Goodfellow Pret Thread

Pret Poets Society

PRostitution in PRet

What does an Angel of Light look like?

The Pret A Manger Anthem

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

THE OLD pret a MANger AND THE SEA

How to Chase 3 Multi-millionaire Businessmen off Twitter

The Pret Love Treatment

Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot

Pret A Merde

Pret A Migraine

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

Happy Being-Awkward Day

Escape From Pret – The Inedible True Story

Pret’s Bang-Bang Rip-off Wrap

Pret’s Diverse and Reliable Soup Rota

Organic Coffins Natural Fools – Pret has a new fool

An IMAGINARY but Honest Interview with Pret

Pret Foundation Trust and Pret’s FALLEN STARS Program!

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

Pret set aside £10.

Pret and “Broken Window Syndrome”

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

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

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UNRELATED-ish TO PRET:

Ruin a Band Name by Removing 1 Letter

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

Ruin a Company with 1 CEO

Writing Challenges and Fun Stuff

Nothing more to come, because I’m done.

©2022 expret.org

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger MISINFORMED the Press?

I received an email by a current Pret staff last night. This staff has given a “fake” email that doesn’t work, so I can’t respond to it. Some staff write with their true name and email, others with pseudonym but still a real email, and others want to completely be anonymous, which is fine. But if any current Pret staff read this, could you confirm if this is true or not? The full email verbatim, quote:

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Comment: »Hey! I am a Pret employee and I have been reading on the news that Pret will increase our salaries and benefits. This is true. However all the news I’ve read doesn’t make clear that those changes will be in place only from April!!
Even The Times says that this is our second pay increase in four months which is not true.
I believe those newspapers were misinformed on purpose.
It is ridiculous to announce a pay rise two months and half in advance!!!«

End of quote.

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UPDATE: Also 15. January 2022, the above email seems to be fake. If so, apologies for posting it. Unless you (emailer) have evidence, I’m not interested. thank you.

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If this is true that Pret misinformed the press, then it truly is merely a PR stunt to lure workers in and make Pret look good again in the public eye because many customers boycott Pret after staff wages were cut to minimum-wage. And Pret is desperate for staff! The press played messenger again, like I mention in below post in my take on the pay-rise and why this is a joke: Pret’s new PR Stunt – payrise in Pennies.

Journalists should go to Pret shops and ask staff directly. They may not get an answer as staff are instructed to refer journalists to Pret and not speak with them. But staff are frustrated and some may speak to the press nevertheless.

And here again a reminder on the public outcry last year after a strike was announced and Pret cutting pay to minimum-wage. Customers not only boycott, but many vowed to never set foot inside Pret again!

Two YouTube slides/videos within a playlist. I use YouTube because Facebook and Instagram have completely blocked my website after Pret must have reported me. So, I’m “forced” to reach out on other platforms. Just let the player continue after the first slide with all the customer boycotts, to the next video that will start automatically with Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret. Nadia basically highlighted – I paraphrase – how staff have carried Pret through the pandemic and as a thank you Pret cut pay down to minimum, as well as cutting benefits etc.

And Nadia Sawalha having half a million followers on Instagram and more followers on Twitter than Pret UK & Pret USA have combined, Pret surely is desperate to do a PR stunt to fool the public AND potential employees again with the help of mainstream media:

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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’s new PR stunt: Raising Wages in PENNIES calling it “Biggest” Ever Raise in 36 Years

Here we are again, Pret with the help of mainstream media doing their usual PR stunt. Headlines saying that Pret raises wages the second time in months … or this being the biggest ever raise in Pret’s 36 year history … or calling it a pay “boost” … etc.

And upfront as a little side-note, it is telling that Pret made this announcement on their website and NOT anywhere on social media, but let the press announce it. Pret has recently deleted former staff comments and made commenting on their “We’re hiring” posts unavailable. So, they don’t make staff announcements anymore on social media, but use the press for it as Pret wouldn’t be able to keep up with deleting all those staff comments! Why? Here’s why with screenshots of deleted staff comments: Pret “Last Minute” Staff Shortages?

Calling 50p or even 90p etc. the “biggest ever” raise in 36 years is very telling how 1. greedy Pret is and 2. how easily fooled the public is with the help of mainstream media! And even Unions fall for this, assuming “victory” where there is none! Pret only always raised pay a few pennies when the government raised the minimum-wage. On their own, Pret did not raise wages, that’s why they may be calling these peanuts the biggest ever in 36 years. Quite a joke!

With the rising costs of food, utility bills etc. Pret staff are not only NOT better off than before, they’re WORSE off! Pret already made pay cuts during the pandemic down to minimum-wage, as well as cutting benefits, paid breaks and other perks. Raising the pay back to a little over minimum-wage is where staff were before, yet workers are still worse off then before! No more paid breaks. Staff rebates down from 50% to 25%. And other perks and benefits that remain cut.

And before you office workers complain that you don’t get your breaks paid, you should work just 1 hour in any Pret shop! You will run out within minutes, kissing the pavement!

So, what’s this new Pret hype all about that most fall for again?

A pay rise in pennies that’s a little over minimum-wage, like they had before Pret cut wages to minimum. Yet, wages are still under the Living Wage and Pret keeps the “temporary” benefits cut and other perks they cut during the pandemic, while putting more work on staff who work for 3 people each!

The bonus from £1 to £1.25 is also a joke because bonus is at the discretion of extremely strict, micromanaging weekly Mystery Shoppers AND shop management. Bonus can be refused for any and all reasons, no matter how small! Staff reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed have mentioned that the bonus is used as a “weapon“.

Or another review where shops are extremely under-staffed and workers have NO CHANCE to do everything as they have no staff, and the Mystery Shopper cuts the bonus because there was a little toilet paper on the floor in the toilet! Quote from Glassdoor review “Stressful“:

»Constantly understaffed and expected to clean the entire store and multitask like crazy because there is no one else to do it
Sometimes really hard to get the bonus because you work so hard to make the entire store presentable, clean and neat but if the mystery shopper comes during the busy lunch period when you are understaffed and have to stay on till and cannot leave it and tidy the shop floor and they then don’t give you the bonus because there was ‘toilet paper on the floor in the toilet that could have been tidied’. Or if there is a long queue until the door they complain that they were not served within a minute and a half of joining the queue which is ridiculous.«

And these are just 2 of the many reviews on Mystery Shopper bonus issues. And from my own experience, I and my colleagues have been threatened with not getting bonus for the silliest reasons. Current Pret staff who recently wrote to me said that their shops hardly get bonus anymore due to the utter chaos and mess in their under-staffed shops! I know from experience that it was already hard before the pandemic, but I don’t even want to think how staff suffer now, physically, mentally and financially. All the while Pret boast again, having a laugh on the cost of their hard-working employees.

I write about the extremely strict, micromanaging and humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme where ONE staff did not ask a SPECIFIC question, resulting in the whole shop team to not get bonus.

If you don’t read anything I write, PLEASE READ the following Mystery Shopper report via the link, and tell me if reinstating and even raising the bonus isn’t a PR trick by Pret: Pret Staff don’t look Happy.

But not only a little toilet paper on the floor is the issue now, many customers complain about dirty shops. London City Airport has received a hygiene rating of 2 in December after an EHO visit. Detail here.

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The bonus system is a tool to manipulate and fear manage staff. Low-wage shop and kitchen staff ONLY rely on the bonus via the weekly Mystery Shoppers AND shop managers random mood swings.

Shop and area Managers (OPs – Operations Managers) get their bonuses quarterly and their bonuses rely on a host of things like shop profits, waste management, labour costs etc., and the biggest chunk is the Mystery Shopper scores. But shop/kitchen staff only get or lose bonus from Mystery Shopper visits and Managers’ moods.

Hence, Pret reinstating the bonus back in September 2021 after a staff member announced a strike action because Pret cut bonus from £1 to 50p, is a TRICK. I explain in detail here: Pret Staff Consider Strike Action.

The psychology is simple: Pret cut wages to minimum-wage DURING the most dangerous times in recent world history. Pret also cut benefits and other perks. Then Pret raises the wage again to a little over minimum-wage the way it was BEFORE, while keeping benefits cut and staff doing much more work. And thus, they continue to sell ice-cubes to Eskimos in winter time.

And unfortunately staff, most of the public and the press fell for it! Even Unions celebrate! Shame on y’all!

Link

Pret did NOT raise the wages now in pennies because of the strike announcement back in August 2021.

Pret now raised a few pennies as psychology for low-wage workers and the public because many Pret staff walked out, shops closed (also due to rent issues and lawsuits on unpaid rents etc.), many customers announced boycotts and some vowed to never set foot inside Pret again, Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret, bad press etc.

All these led to Pret playing another trick by raising the wages a few pennies above minimum wage, but still under the Living Wage.

And all y’all are fooled again! Shame!

And as a visual reminder again, former CEO Clive Schlee pocketing £30million in BONUS for himself alone! Do a rough calculation how much pay PLUS bonus current CEO Pano Christou, all the other execs and the shareholders get! And then tell me again that the pay “boost” and investment of £9.2million for 8000 front-line staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on wage cuts risking their lives, is generous!

Link

Pret’s owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns, must have given the green light to Pano Christou to throw a few crumbs at workers to appease the public and burnt-out staff. Front-line workers are so burnt out, they have no strength to even look for a better job. Morale is low, hope is gone, so a few pennies are supposed to fool them again! And it will.

»You can’t run a business on goodwill when the goodwill dries up.«
– Pret Staff Review on Glassdoor.

And remember the NHS smokescreen in March 2020 just before first lock-down? Here’s a reminder!

On 18. March 2020 Pret VERY quickly acted to the possibilities of a lock-down and announced free coffees and 50% rebates on food for NHS workers. The press and the public went ballistic with praise.

The very next morning on 19. March 2020, I wake up to a Twitter DM by a Pret staff who in despair wrote that shops have just received an email by CEO Pano Christou in the morning, announcing cuts to staff hours, and with it to pay. Other Pret staff started to send me the CEO email from that morning which I then published on my blog, as my website is the “channel” so-to-speak between Pret staff and the public/press.

I tweeted this to the press and all over, and Pret retracted for a few months until grass grew over it, but then started making cuts left right and center. But only to front-line Pret staff.

NHS workers were used twofold, 1. as a PR stunt for the public as well as NHS staff, and 2. as a smokescreen to hide cuts to staff. I write about the timing of this announcement and posted the full CEO email to shops here: To NHS Employees.

It is safe to say that millionaire Pret execs, who safely worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned head office, TOOK from their low-wage front-line workers to pay for the NHS freebie PR stunt. And you all applauded!

And here is how Pret continually get caught doing Wage Theft.

Also, if anyone wants to take a peek behind the scenes on WHY Pret always makes BIG and noisy “charity” announcements: Pret’s Charity Projects.

So, dear mainstream media, you can continue to ignore my writings, my own experience and firsthand knowledge of Pret. You can continue to support this gaslighting system that claims to not be able to afford at the LEAST a living wage and PROPER benefits, to keep on enriching entitled prats who s*it on those who made them rich! You can continue to ignore Pret staff experiences and keep their voices silenced. You can continue to suck up to Pret because it’s not YOU who has to feed children on slave wages, after getting burnt out day-in, day-out until there’s nothing left to even find hope that this short life can be good for hard-working, honest people, who are stepped upon because their work is called “low-skill” to justify poverty wages …!

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That’s why very few people make it on my blog and YouTube posts, who are not as easily served up with Pret’s PR bullcrap!

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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 Hygiene Rating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typical Pret leadership!

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

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Really?!

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

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

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Racial Profiling in Pret A Manger

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

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Link

For larger print, quote:

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

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

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

Link

Another feed on Twitter, also going into detail:

Link

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

Link

An article in The Voice about racism in Pret:

Link

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

Link

UPDATE 11.01.2022 Pret USA

Link to Instagram post

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

1312 – Pret A Manger

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

Thank you BBC.

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

Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal


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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

»The most Toxic work culture I have ever experienced«

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote:

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

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

PHEW!

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

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

Link to review on Glassdoor.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Once you get it you die!

I understand now why no journalist wants to report on my story. Every journalist wants to put THEIR name under your story! I am too much in control of my own story. It is always and will always be about people wanting THEIR name under a story. I is always and will always be about money, self-interest, ones own skin.

Your friends will leave you when you lose the floor underneath your feet. You employer will move heaven and hell to get rid of you once you have loss or illness in your family.

This world will spit you out once you are of no use to them.

Britney Spears said it best in her now deleted Instagram post:

Stay safe y’all.

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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 keep adding Excuses for not serving items

The ongoing issues in Pret with EXPENSIVE items Pret don’t serve under the supplier issue lie.

So, how do Pret make money, save money, and get as much money as possible?

If you think that it is a coincidence that Pret keep having supplier issues, then why do Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Costa etc. even small independent cafes/restaurant have all the items that Pret claims are not available? Pret rides on the supplier chain issue and don’t give any EXPENSIVE item or complimentary extras. The pandemic forced Pret to show their TRUE face!

Interestingly, Pret NEVER have supplier issues on coffee, cow’s milk and bread, all the main products, but ALWAYS on expensive items like: chai latte, matcha latte, hot chocolate powder, frappe, smoothies (always broken ice machines or blenders or no ice!), plant based milks, and now cream! Complaints started also that shops don’t do a strong espresso shot or syrup when buying with the coffee subscription.

UPDATE: 23.12.2021 on Facebook:

Also as a side note, but IMPORTANT to note that Pret do NOT serve full extra shots, but HALF shots! I write extensively about this in Pret A Manger’s “Strong” Espresso Shot and why Pret call it “strong” and not “double”.

If a shop truly runs out of milk or coffee, then it’s due to management having miscalculated and didn’t order enough or in rare cases there can be delivery issues. But that’s rare. When I worked at Pret as a shop Team Leader, responsible to order stock, I once miscalculated and we ran out of milk. This is extremely rare. I grabbed a colleague and we went to Tesco down the road to buy milk. Pret allows that as long as the milk is organic, or whatever Pret advertises.

Of course, there are occasional delivery issues, but we had to move heaven and earth to get the missing stock in from another Pret shop or supermarket. Pret has no mercy on shops running out of even 1 item! But now, it’s a daily occurrence since the pandemic started. And supply chain delays come in handy for Pret to dupe customers. Wouldn’t it be funny if the supply chain REALLY don’t deliver coffee beans, milk and bread? 😉

Customer complaints since 2020 when Pret started the subscription, no iced drinks, or then iced drinks were served in SMALLER paper cup sizes, again due to “supplier issues” Pret claimed. Pret had NO issues getting the NEW 14oz paper cups while having supplier issues on their more expensive 16oz plastic cups for iced drinks. Do a rough calculation how many people are cheated out of 2oz per iced drink IF they’re lucky to get one on the subscription. The plastic cups are back now, but if I’m not mistaken, have also shrunk in size.

How do Tesco say? “Every little helps”! It all adds up in numbers!

Check the dates of the Tweets, especially towards the end of the slide. This is STILL going on now in December 2021:

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Clever thieves don’t do a big heist, they steal little by little but MANY people. People who had their credit card details stolen didn’t realize for months that a consistent amount of money was stolen, because the amount was small, but it went on for months. A steady income for thieves.

A customer realized this as well recently:

Pret stopped the complimentary butter portions for the soup bread. Customers also started to complain that Pret don’t do the little compote and seed pots for the porridge. And the honey sizes in the little pots has also decreased to smaller squeezable honey.

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Of course it’s at the discretion of a business to offer or refuse complimentary items. But I’m painting a picture here in how Pret is pinching at every turn while sitting on millions and making profit again. Little by little things are removed and people get used to it after initial outcry. And of course it helps for staff to not have to prepare all the little pots for porridge which is very time consuming, but to decrease sizes and stop complimentary items altogether is the typical business thing to cut costs.

And with the cream they ADVERTISE for their Christmas drinks, now they give more reasons to try and prevent exposure. And I keep telling people to contact ASA as well as consumer rights groups, and fill in the complaint form for false advertisement Pret keep doing. It just takes 2 minutes to fill in.

ASA Form: Make a complaint.

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Link

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Day 20? Month #6! No cream since at least June 2021:

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Sorry 8 months!

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Sorry, 12 months! You get the picture!

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How can a company the size of Pret have “supplier issues” for 6+ months on specific items?! Since I write extensively about Pret’s “supplier issue” and Pret read my blog, the updated version now covers a broad range of reasons, quote: “ongoing shipping issues, delayed 3rd party deliveries or smaller quantity deliveries”.

And this way customers as well as consumer rights group cannot trace back if that is true, because more people/businesses are blamed.

But again, Pret NEVER has issues with coffee beans, cow’s milk and bread, the holy trinity of Pret’s business.

Also, Pret now SELL expired food they give to “charity” via food app TooGoodToGo (TGTG). Pret sell food under their “charity” umbrella and try to get money at every turn. Pret even now sell hot (cooled down) expired food via TGTG that Pret before wouldn’t even give for free due to safety issues with the temperature fluctuation! Also, soups get frozen now, NOT fresh as Pret claim. It was never freshly “made” anyway as soups are cooked in factories! I write about frozen soups in Pret Food is NOT Fresh.

The Mushroom Risotto soup is usually a favourite of Pret’s soups by many customers.

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When I worked at Pret, I know for a fact that the soup for example is heated at least twice, often 3 – 4+ times! By the time it is given or now sold after its 2 hour hot shelf life, the customer then heats it up AGAIN for a third or more time!

Soup is cooked in the factory and delivered in plastic bags holding 6 cups per bag. First thing in the morning the Hot Chef then places soup bags into the water bath (marinator) or later heats it up in the microwave. This is then the second time soups are heated. If a bag of soup is still in the water bath at the end of the day, it HAS TO be wasted! But many cheat under the pressure from stressed Managers. They let the bags cool down and then put it back into the fridge and heat up the next day. Third time heated up! Etc.

Of course this is not allowed, but many do it! My Managers always hated me because I wasted it! Yet, even with the waste, I still managed to help shops be successful. You absolutely CAN do things properly without cheating, but due to understaffed shops, staff feel the intense pressure and keep heated products as well as “stretch” dates of expiry dates!

Pret now making money for “charity” where before they wouldn’t give high risk products like hot food for FREE! When it comes to money, health and safety out the door! When I called Pret & TGTG out on it on Twitter, TGTG_UK promptly blocked me! Thank you confirming that you don’t appreciate the truth! I can still respond to people who tag you in TGTG_UK, you know that, right?

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I write extensively about this in Pret’s Health & Safety Hypocrisy.

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etc. etc. etc.

UPDATE 29.12.2021

Link

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Pret also placed donation devices NEXT to payment devices. Customers in a hurry and with the noise and stress in shops accidentally donate £5 thinking they’re paying. Pret does their usual psychology without saying it, many customers are upset but too embarrassed to request a refund from “charity”. Pret knows that very well! Many businesses, even theaters etc. have these donation devices SINCE the pandemic to raise funds. But they don’t place the devices NEXT to payment devices like Pret do!

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And many more complaints on all social media platforms.

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A small collection of issues where people feel scammed by Pret:

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Some posts of how customers feel scammed via the subscription, including not being able to cancel, and even if they manage to cancel in time, received a confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret still takes money even months after people have cancelled. Pret need serious investigation from financial auditors on how they skim customers.

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Not able to get expensive iced drinks on the subscription since it started in 2020 (as well as chai latte, plant based milks etc.).

Unable to cancel the subscription, and after cancellation still being charged.

Pret is INDEED trying anything to survive. A collection of issues.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Staff Emails

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

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

“Hello,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to reddit post

Link

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

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

Some other selected emails by staff:

Pret don’t care about anyone

No training but expected to do the job without mistakes

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

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

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DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

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

£10.00

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

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

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

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

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

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Pret Loyalty Card 2012-09-13

Link to 2012

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

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

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

Pret Loyalty Card 2012-03-29

Link to 2012

2017 Pret Loyalty Card

Link to a 2017 Tweet

And Paris 2019 from Instagram:

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So, marketing companies, try again!

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

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How it REALLY works:

Link

Same with the Mince Pie offer:

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Link to Instagram post from yesterday.

Facebook:

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

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

So, here you go with another Pret shadiness.

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

DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

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

£10.00

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Pret A Manger Customer Voices, Boycotts, Outrage

… just within the last 6 months alone!

Via YouTube.

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

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Boycott in support of minimum-wage staff:

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

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

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

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To be continued unfortunately!

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Pret A Manger Abandoned their Staff & Customers

Via YouTube:

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Free Speech does NOT exist on Media Platforms

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

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

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

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

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Examples of censorship:

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

Twitter:

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

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

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

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

Linkedin:

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

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

The Press:

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

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

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

Link to my Tweet under his deleted Tweet.

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

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

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

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Etc. etc. etc.

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

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

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

WordPress:

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

Wikipedia:

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

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

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

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

Screenshots:

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

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

So, my work continues unpaid, un-credited …

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

Julian Metcalfe in Jeffrey Epstein’s Address Book

UPDATE 29.11.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Page 38:

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Link

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

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

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

His deletedTweets:

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

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

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


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£10.00

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger’s Lip needs a Tuck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Image Bristol Live

UPDATE 28.12.2021

An observant customer noticed:

Link

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instagram:

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Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

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April 2021:

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

Link

Facebook:

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

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

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

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

@pret qr

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

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

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

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UPDATE 01.11.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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:

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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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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:

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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:

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

Pret & itsu founder Julian Metcalfe in Jeffrey Epstein’s “Black Book”

UPDATE 29.11.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Page 38:

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Link

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

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

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

His deletedTweets:

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

.

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

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


.


.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

.

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

Pret A “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.

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.

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

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

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

Instagram:

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.

.

Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

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April 2021:

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

Link

Facebook:

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.

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

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

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

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

@pret qr

.

.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

.

.

.

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

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

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

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

.

Link to article.

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

.

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

.

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

.

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

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

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


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

.

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

.

.

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

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

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

.

DONATIONS

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

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

£10.00

.


.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

Another #PretAManger Lie – QR Codes

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

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

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

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

@pret qr

.

.

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

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

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

.

.

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

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

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

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

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

.

.

.

.

.

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

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

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

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

.

Link to article.

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

.

.

.

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

.

  • 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, even a small amount is appreciated. Thank you! You can choose any amount from £1 upwards.

£1.00

.


.

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:

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.

.

.

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!

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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!

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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!

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DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

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

£10.00

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Mandemic Staff Reviews

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

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!

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 with 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! 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!

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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.

Prexit – Pret A Manger Customers’ outpouring of love & support

»We can’t seem to find
Any peace of mind
As much as we try
There’s no way out but fight

You won’t make us stop
You won’t make us stop
You won’t make us stop the run«

– Ela Minus

AND a brilliant and heart warming 4+ minute rant on Instagram by Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha. I still cry when I watch this:
(This is the actual video, not just a picture, click play)

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Also, to see how Pret does charity, please visit:
Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Pret A Manger’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.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

The “Difference” between Pret’s Kitchen & Shop

I would like to explain something to Pret front-line workers.

I am ecstatic about @at_pret‘s planning to strike and am super proud of their courage! If the strike goes forward or whatever the outcome may be is another topic. And of course I hope the strike goes forward and staff ask for and get MUCH MORE, especially the London Living Wage.

But I like to put some balance into an issue that I had to balance out many times when I was a Team Leader at Pret in many of the shops I worked at.

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I was a Team Leader of the shop floor and also worked in the kitchen to learn the products and helped out many times. I ALWAYS was gobsmacked and had a high respect for Kitchen Team Leaders, because I could never do what they do! I ran the shops as a shop Floor Leader (FL) and even though it was extremely stressful, the job was EASY for me!

One General Manager (GM) said to me once that I run the shop with my eyes closed! It came easy to me! What did NOT come easy was all the bullsh!t and bullying from the top! One GM tried to coax me into becoming a Kitchen Team Leader (KL) if I wanted to move up to be an Assistant Manager. But I declined because running the kitchen is a nightmare!!! And I also loved working with customers and appreciate daylight!

There are many Pret staff who prefer to work in the kitchen as they don’t like contact with customers. And that’s fair enough!

But at times when the shop staff had a go at the kitchen staff and visa verca, I quickly jumped in to balance out the conflict.

Kitchen staff often think that shop staff are lazy because at times after the busy coffee rush and before the busy lunch rush, one or two staff stand by the till and seemingly look like they’re not doing anything!

But shop staff are always pressured by management to STAY at the till and DON’T MOVE! Because staff are pushed to drop everything as soon as a customer approaches the till! Staff are pushed to serve FAST to get customers in and out fast, as this means fast money flow.

I don’t want to get too much into this and want to avoid writing a LONG post again, but I often explained to the Team that we ALL work HARD and each team just has a different kind of stress!

I explained to those who never worked on the shop floor, what kind of stress shop staff suffer. And then I explained to shop staff what kind of stress kitchen folk suffer, and they started to appreciate each others’ work and helped each other more. And thus we all realised that it is much easier to work TOGETHER than to fight each other!

Kitchen staff have to work FAST like machines WITHOUT ever stopping! But kitchen staff don’t have to SMILE and pretend to be happy every second of every day on the shop floor and kiss butt of customers who have a go at them because their latte is cold!

Kitchen staff have LOUD and FAST music, NOT for fun like Pret claims, but so they don’t talk and work fast. Fast and loud music serves as a beating drum for the work pace! Your head explodes with that stress!

Same in the shop, the music has to always be loud so that customers don’t linger around too long! But kitchen staff at least can choose their own music and even switch it off if they want to. Although management and KL will switch it on again! I was told off by an area Manager once because I kept turning the volume down in the shop after my head was exploding and I had a concert of Tinnitus bugging me every day. Also, customers kept complaining, but Pret wants the music LOUD! In the kitchen at least staff have some control of the music system.

Shop staff have to listen to the same songs day in day out for months until head office changes the playlist!

If you are ill, depressed, bereaved and you work in the kitchen, you can do your bench in the corner of the kitchen, don’t have to speak with or look at anyone. You can even have a quite cry and wipe your tears on your shoulder!

If you are ill, depressed, bereaved and you work in the shop you are NOT allowed to have a sad face and MUST pretend to be happy and smile at all times! You MUST suppress the tears while being bugged by a customer who’s taking 5 minutes to get out pennies to pay for the £2.85 and tries to get rid of change. …

I know the public doesn’t believe this, unless you have worked or know someone who’s worked at Pret. But I had countless times when I went into the toilet when the shop was quiet, burst out in tears, splashed water on my face, dried up, waved wind into my eyes for my red eyes to settle back, went back on the shop floor, smiled and my customers never knew how suicidal I was. Especially after I buried my brother. At times I BEGGED my Manager to put me in the kitchen to work for a day when I was very down. I couldn’t afford to take unpaid leave if my holiday was already taken, and wasn’t paid for the first two days off sick, even if I’d had a GP sick note.

Most of the time my GM refused me to work in the kitchen because I wasn’t used to the pace and would have slowed down the production and the whole kitchen Team. Other times I begged to be the coffee maker for the morning so I don’t have to face customers and smile all the time. Again, refused because unlike in the kitchen, I was very efficient with fast service and looking after the shop. Even during extremely busy lunchtime, the shop side was immaculate at all times when I ran the shifts. So my Managers never wanted me in the kitchen or on coffee. If I was at any other position, coffee, kitchen it meant my GM or AM would have to look after the shop instead of sitting in the office checking Facebook! This is REALITY in Pret with many Managers!

It is ALWAYS about Pret, about Managers not wanting to work but dump all the burden on those who already work like machines. And I say it again, that I survived this especially during bereavement I still don’t understand!

This has screwed me up so deeply that now I REFUSE to smile or even be friendly if I don’t feel like it. And much worse, I lash out in a drunken stupor at GOOD people because I get paranoid they’re out “to get me” … You can judge me if you like, but this is reality.

Since @at_pret made the strike announcement and the Guardian took it to another level, social media is exploding with customers boycotting and even vowing to never set foot inside a Pret again! Reddit even has several former Pret staff speak out! I will STOP myself from posting ALL the reddit posts, but one I want to highlight and say that I also had to countless times console a colleague who cried in the staff room because our boss told them off, or a customer had a go at them …

Link to reddit comment from 12.08.2021

Quote:

»I can see no one in the comments worked for Pret. That place is a hell to work for, you always end up doing the job of 3-4 people, they have high standards, you are scolded if you don’t smile, and so on. It’s hell, I have never seen so many people crying during and after their shift. You are paid pennies compared to your workload. I can keep going, but it’s just not worth it and now they even cut the paid break, which was the only incentive to stay there. I am glad I left.«

One of many staff reviews along those line, this one is from 2015:

Link

Quote: “A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period …”

I could go on and on on with the different stress points in both areas, but I only want to emphasise that BOTH, kitchen and shop Team work bloody HARD, each with their own stress levels!

Sure, kitchen staff have very little opportunity to get the individual outstanding card awards! Shop staff have much more chances to get an outstanding card. But the outstanding card is an INDIVIDUAL reward, while the bonus is for the whole Team.

When someone kept having a go at the kitchen Team I said to them that they should work in the kitchen for one week and then after a week they come back to the shop floor and KISS the ground! And visa versa said the same to a kitchen staff to work a week in the shop!

I always stressed to kitchen and shop staff that we are ONE TEAM not two Teams, ONE team! And division and stress between staff is EXACTLY what Pret and low-wage companies love! It distracts from the REAL issues of exploitation by millionaires, who throw crumbs at the bottom to fight over!

I saw a bunch of pigeons fighting over crumbs once and realised then where the term “picking on each other” comes from!

I speak about this in my interview on a podcast, fast forward to 1:22:20 via Soundcloud.

@at_pret kitchen staff, if you’re reading this, please understand that the shop Team have AS MUCH stress, it’s just a different kind of load, but shop staff work AS HARD as kitchen staff and kitchen staff work AS HARD as shop staff. NO-ONE works harder, and NO-ONE has it easier! It’s just a different kind of stress!

My favourite review I came across is from a kitchen worker who also had to jump in to help out in the shop on the till. And trust me, as a Floor Leader I often helped out in the kitchen or asked a shop staff who wasn’t busy to help out in the kitchen as much as kitchen staff also helped us in the shop.

It’s ONE Team! ALL work hard!

My favourite review that still has me cry at times as it triggers the pain that follows you home! I gave it an extra YouTube slide because the public NEEDS to understand how Pret staff suffer!

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, 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 CEO Pano Christou is having a LAUGH 🤬

Pano Christou making a MOCKERY of staff!

And even though my post here makes indirect advertisement for Pret, I want the public to see how utterly, utterly careless, patronizing and disrespectful Pret is towards their staff!

Is he delusional or just outright, unashamedly disgusting to staff?

As all social media platforms are on fire with customers not only boycotting Pret, but many having vowed to never set foot inside Pret again, and some staff find courage to speak out over Pret’s exploitation, cutting pay etc.

What does CEO Pano Christou do?

He does what Pret does best: he announces his self-loathing “charity”.

He wants to run a half marathon to raise money for the Pret Foundation Trust to, quote: “alleviate poverty, hunger and homelessness” … and then he’s asking the staff of whom he just cut wages, benefits etc. to donate to his cause @%!*&% 🤬🤬🤬

I have so many curse words on my tongue but don’t want to degrade myself further! He is spitting on his staff with his charitable pretends! F****** 🤮

They’re trying to get money at EVERY corner including donations from staff.

But this goes exactly along the lines of what Pret did to staff in March 2020 when Pret did the NHS freebie PR stunt. On 18. March 2020 just before first lock-down but at the intensity of the pandemic where it was clear how contagious Covid 19 is, Pret announced coffee freebies and 50% rebate on food for NHS workers. The very next day “charitable” Pano Christou sent an email to all shops and HQ to announce “temporary” cuts to staff. NHS workers were used twofold, as a PR stunt and a smokescreen to divert from cuts to own staff.

I was contacted by several Pret staff on the morning of the email and was sent his email. Full email: (My plea) To NHS Employees. The audacity to use the pandemic to justify cuts and at the same time TAKE AWAY from low-wage staff. In my eyes, Pret staff basically PAID for the NHS freebies. And it was disheartening to read that most NHS staff didn’t care except for their own pocket. Just very few NHS staff spoke out, one very strongly:

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Link

Since the Guardian article by Sarah Butler came out yesterday and a social media storm erupted of customers showing LOVE and solidarity to Pret staff, I’ve spent most of my day tweeting with tears streaming down my face! The overwhelming support from the public I didn’t expect. There’s always some support, but there’s always more silence than voices. But yesterday and still today customers speaking out is like a much needed rain in a drought, and I haven’t cried tears of joy in a long time. And this in contrast to just few voices of NHS staff who mainly seemed to care about getting a freebie while Pret staff bled for it!

So Pano does the usual Pret thing, floating HIS boat on his charitable ventures while sh!tting on staff! His marathon message he sent to all staff, one of whom sent it to me. Also very economical for Pano, instead of joining and paying for the gym or doing a boring morning run on his own, he goes for a public exercise and gets money for it!

And mind you, this message has been sent to me by a low-wage front-line SHOP staff, NOT HQ staff! Pret wants £8.91 p/h staff to donate to his “charity” act! Yeah Pano, I wish you luck! You’ll need more of it now than you ever thought!

Pret staff and the Unions should take the picket-line across the route where Pano will run! And the banner at the goal should have a strong message from staff and the Union on it!

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ADDITION 14.08.2021

After pondering on Pano’s charity stunt, it seems to me that Pano is losing it and is clueless on how to act. Going on a charity marathon thing is a coping mechanism he does from long days gone by. When Pret found itself in deep water on any issue, their strategy was always to do some quick charity stunt reaction. But Pano hasn’t realized that this old coping mechanism doesn’t work anymore. It’s out-dated, it’s INAPPROPRIATE and it has NOTHING whatsoever to do with current issues of the pandemic nor staff shortage!

I wrote in May that I have a feeling that Pano will soon be replaced as a CEO. Staff never really saw him as a leader who’d make an impact. He was Clive Schlee’s shadow for years but never really brought anything new or inventive to the table. He just learnt how to sweet-talk like a parrot!

My prediction from May 2021:

“The Pano Christou Index”

And in the early hours of 29. March 2018 former CEO Clive Schlee made the £1000 announcement to all staff (£800 after tax) after he found out late at night on 28. March about my blog. I give a visual of the evidence here:

“The Day Clive Schlee had a Bright Idee” (Idee is not a typo, I explain in the post!)

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Staff consider to STRIKE

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On 10th August 2021 I woke up to a wonderful Tweet:

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Link

I went on a Twitter race to tweet the press, Unions and others in general.

This morning another lovely start into the day:

Link to Guardian article

Of course this article took the strike announcement to another level and a social media storm erupted as usual, with caring customers announcing to stop buying at Pret. And this comes days after the UK government named and shamed Pret amongst 190 other companies for paying under the minimum-wage: Pret ‘named and shamed’ in government minimum wage list.

Just hours after the Guardian piece, Pret made what Sky news called a “U-Turn” and reinstated the £1 per hour bonus. BUT, this is a joke and a trick! The bonus is not guaranteed and I will briefly explain here below why this is a joke!

Link to The Guardian

First of all, yes of course it’s not law to have to pay breaks and most retail business don’t pay breaks! But why do we settle for a SYSTEM? Why not get this changed? Fast-food workers, especially Pret staff work like machines! It was already horrible to work before the pandemic! Pret always boast that they pay a little more then the competition. But 1. staff have to work triple the amount for it and 2. they don’t get a pay-rise in YEARS except on what the Government raises.

Some people get it to not accept certain “normal” things:

Link

And now, Pret ALSO pays the national minimum wage of £8.91, and with all these cuts staff get more work, many have left, who knows if there are Covid infections or even deaths. Pret was able to hide TWO allergen deaths under the carpet and a 3rd narrowly survived and more injured until an Inquest into the first fatality forced the news out.

The reason why the bonus being fully back from 50p to £1 per hour is that this is just another one of Pret’s tricks!

The bonus is not a guarantee whereas a living wage, paid breaks etc. are a guarantee. Pret has an extremely micromanaging, dehumanizing, humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme in place. I’ve written on this several times and have done some YouTube slides with real Pret Mystery Shopper (MS) reports because my blog is heavily censored on Facebook, Instagram, even here on WordPress. My blog is blocked on those sites and Facebook algorithm even deletes my PRIVATE messages when I link to my blog! But FB, Insta etc. can’t block YouTube, Twitter etc.

The MS has immense power to make or break shop bonus. Every week they visit and any little thing that p!sses the MS off can cost the whole shop the bonus. Pret Managers also have discretion to NOT give bonus for ANY silly reason. The MS is used as a tool to bully and fear manage staff!

If the Manager doesn’t like a staff member and that staff comes in ONE minute late, boom, the Manager withdraws the bonus.

The staff who got the ball rolling on the planned strikes confirms this:

Link

If you work 60 hours per week because Pret has always been under-staffed, but now since the pandemic it’s much worse, you get exhausted, sick, Covid is still around etc. and if you are sick even just for ONE day, you get your whole week’s bonus cut. If you work 60 hours and the MS visit is successful, you get £60 on top of your wages (£1 per hour). £60 is a LOT of money for underpaid staff who, some of them are on benefits to pay their rent. If you worked all week for 52 hours, and on your last day of that week you call sick missing 8 hours to make it to 60, you lose the whole week’s effort of £52 of the previous 52 hours you DID already work!

Many times I myself worked while I was sick because I had to make a decision if to stay at home and get well, but lose money, or work while sick risking further health issues AND potentially losing my whole Team the MS bonus. One MS I unknowingly served pointed this out when I was coughing while serving them and I was not able to smile. My Manager had me in the office after we received the report.

Ctrl & + to enlarge screenshot.

Quote:

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

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

Fathermucker, I was also not “cheerful” enough after I buried my brother and my boss told us to leave our problems at home and wear a smile like we wear our uniforms! If an undercover journalist would go into Pret to experience the Mystery Shopper hell. I renamed it to “Misery” Shopper. And dear MS, next time PAY staff to stay home and get well!

One staff member confronted former CEO Clive Schlee on this and called it “stealing”. The staff might have been warned by Pret as they since deleted their Tweet. Also, Clive Schlee’s Twitter account has been deleted in July 2020, so all that’s left are replies to him and many of the screenshots I have from his Tweets.

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And a recent Facebook DM with a former Pret staff who points this out as well, how working 70 hours per week is harmful for mental health, but also physically. I have permission to post this:

So, working like a donkey WILL make people sick! More from this FB exchange here: Pret Staff Tested Positive for Covid.

And other issues with the bonus being weaponized against staff, I worked with a colleague who came to work from his holiday with a little beard. I’m not sure if this is still the case, but in my time when a guy wanted to grow a beard, he had to let Pret know in advance. Pret had this in WRITING in our staff manuals, that’s why I know about it as I had to read stuff as a Leader. To this day I still don’t understand why they had to let Pret know because in the kitchen men with beards wear beard nets as well as hair nets! But he came from holiday with a beard and our Manager cut his bonus!

I got threatened that my bonus will get cut if I keep forgetting to slide the plastic opening sign to “open” in the morning. Pret don’t have these stupid red sliding signs anymore, but in my time when I was new as a Leader I kept forgetting, partly because no-one trained me on “Managing by Walking Around” (MBWA).

Anything can be used by management to not pay bonus. And knowing Pret, they may retaliate against staff for announcing a strike by making the Mystery Shopper harder and/or hint to Managers to cut bonus at any turn possible!

One recent review on Glassdoor by a Team Leader puts this in simple terms: “Bonus is used as weapon”:

Link

We staff always were suspicious as well that when Pret threw these elaborate huge summer and Christmas parties that each cost at least £10.000 and more, VERY OFTEN straight after the parties that week, many shops lost bonus! We couldn’t proof that Pret was behind this, but I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. And it was like clockwork, we staff always laughed and made bets if we get bonus the week after a party.

The same with overheated shops! I worked in 2 different shops, both for months without adequate air conditioning and broken ACs. Shops and at times kitchens if all ACs broke, were 40+ degrees! Every Mystery Shopper, every week NEVER even mentioned this! We were expected to keep smiling and performing at highest standards. We lost bonus if we couldn’t smile etc.

I write in detail and walk people through how working in 40 degrees is like and put many customer Tweets who complained to Pret over overheated shops: Pret A Manger Overheated Shops.

After I started my blog here I registered once on a Mystery Shopper forum about 2 years ago. People were sharing their experiences. There was no-one who was a Pret MS, but I explained from staff perspective how horrible it is for us. And 9 out of 10 MS on that forum were brutal with me! They said that this is our job and that we are expected to fulfill what the company wanted, no matter what. They said even after I explained that I was bullied DURING bereavement and expected to smile! I was shocked at their response! Many Mystery Shoppers seem arrogant and entitled, this is visible in their comments. And to become a MS, you are not allowed to have retail work experience. I believe that is because companies don’t want the MS to have empathy but be like a brutal customer who ONLY spends money when their butts are kissed!

I could go on and on, but I’m trying to learn to write shorter texts. Reinstating the £1 bonus is not good enough and as the only option is a bad deal because bonuses are not a guarantee. Knowing Pret from my own horrific experience, I truly believe it’s a trick of Pret, and staff should NOT settle for it.

As social media is on fire, even former Pret staff on reddit spill the beans on the reality of Pret:

Link

The following reddit comment I will quote here to enlarge it! These guys speak TRUTH!

“No, I’ve been working in hospitality for years. I’ve never seen anything like Pret, the amount of emotional abuse is unacceptable. But hey, people need to see you smile while they’re buying an effing sandwich…”

Link

Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union on LBC, whom I connected to @at_pret who announced the strike. Ian was happy to help, but staff decided to go alone. Pret has since silenced the strike action:

Link to Twitter

Low-wage shop staff depend ONLY on the Mystery Shopper to get their peanut bonus of £1 per hour. But Managers and higher up Managers have their quarterly bonus GUARANTEED!

Low-wage front-line staff get the bonus paid weekly, if you worked 40 hours, you get £40 extra. But the bonus relies solely on the Mystery Shopper results, whereas shop Assistant Managers (the position CEO Pano Christou started), Managers and higher ups get their bonus quarterly and the Mystery Shopper is just one part of it. It’s the biggest part, but even if they have low scores, they still get their bonus every quarter!

Little side note again, I write about Pano Christou’s “Rags to Riches” story and explain that he started at position number 4 in the shop NOT at the bottom. He loves to tell the public that he started “in shops”. Sure he did, but he started as an Assistant Manager with a ton of benefits including £500 to buy business attire, monthly £50 for the dry cleaner, health insurance, sick pay from day one, a LOAN to buy an annual travel pass that costs only for 10 months (2 months free travel), elaborate executive parties, travels for Team building, higher pay, bigger bonus and a bunch of other perks along the way. He just loves to fool everyone how he started at the “bottom”! Give me a break!

Staff, as well as customers, have Pret at their balls now and should keep squeezing! DON’T let go! This is a momentum and an opportunity that doesn’t come around often!

They have the press AND the public AND former/current staff AND the Unions now with open eyes on this! DON’T LET GO!

Two slides I’ve done so far and may add more if staff send me updates with new Mystery Shopper reports. But once you look at the detail, you get the idea how dehumanizing Pret’s MS report is. Pret has downgraded from 32 questions to a little over 20 questions, but it’s still horrible for staff who have to act like acrobatic clowns to just get more crumbs that Pret throws at them.

Slide 1 are excerpts from different MS reports from different shops I worked in and different years. Slide 2 is from one shop in 2019. Pret changed some wordings a little since I extensively write about the Mystery Shopper and may have forced Pret even to mention the MS on shop walls. I renamed it to “Misery” Shopper!

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And most of the 32 MS questions from 2019. I have a report from 2020 but had no chance to work it into my blog or YT:

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Also, regarding cuts and exploitation, please see the following posts that show how Pret exploits staff since YEARS including wage theft, lawsuits, using NHS workers for PR etc.

Wage Theft in Pret

To NHS Employees

The Difference between Kitchen and Shop work (The strike announcement says that kitchen staff are the hard workers, but I explain that ALL staff work hard).

UPDATE: Please see how Pano Christou is further ripping low-wage staff off by trying to get money for “charity”: CEO Pano Christou is Having a Laugh!

And lastly, if customers and staff really want to reach the top executives after being ignored on Twitter, FB, Insta etc., it’s best to post to CEO Pano Christou directly on Linkedin. He deleted his Twitter account in 2019 after I tweeted Clive Schlee’s “retirement” to the press and also linked to Pano’s Twitter.

Pano Christou on Linkedin.

Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret regarding cut wages via her Instagram. To American readers, “Loose Women” is a TV program similar to the American program “The View” or “The Talk” with mainly female presenters and themes. Nadia Sawalha is known for not shying away to speak out on issues. She has close to 500K followers on Instagram and has more followers on Twitter than Pret has. Her voice is vital and much appreciated. Many of her followers stopped going to Pret:

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I adopted a song as the “Pret A Manger Anthem”:

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DONATION

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

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

£10.00

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Naughty, Naughty Pret! Not paying staff … AGAIN!

I’m actually surprised that this Tory Government has investigated, and now names and shames companies for not paying staff. I am so disheartened with the Tory Govt. for how they squeezed the UK for years, especially the NHS, and mishandled the pandemic. So, the publication of this list of companies is a pleasant surprise!

Our usual suspect of course is Pret A Manger. And as usual, many people are surprised, especially business people. But why? Business people should know best how companies cheat to get and keep money!

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Pret has been stealing wages for years and settled TWO class action suits in the USA having had to repay 4000 workers close to a combined $1 million. In the USA people quickly sue and get results, while in the UK the legal system is very different. Even if you win in court, the effort and price you pay compared to the rewards is not worth ruining your mental health and finances. It needs class actions as well as individual lawsuits.

Pret’s wage theft, detail here: Pret A Manger Wage Theft

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Link to Government list of companies

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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, 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.

Pano Christou Index

The above gentleman is Jeffrey Hyman, the original founder of Pret that Pret loves to avoid mentioning. Pret even use his original sign/logo/font in a room at 75B, Verde, 10 Bressenden Place in Victoria, London’s Head Office and I made a photo of this logo in one of Pret’s Victoria shops. Pret use his sign, but refuse to mention him.

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Photo taken mid 2021

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Here’s my prediction on Pano Christou’s career in Pret:

It is 2021, his mentor Clive Schlee has been guiding him since the sh!t hit the fan.

JAB Holdings will find a new CEO and Pano will coincidentally find another occupation.

And the staff on the front-lines hope to have a company, a CEO who truly cares (but this is fast-food, so don’t get your hopes up!).

You’ve heard it here first.

BUT, the above is only if anyone on top levels care.

If they don’t care, Pano Chrsitou stays on, the same old, same old goes on, and Pret remains a mini McDonald’s with a posh front.

That’s it.

P.S. Pano Christou is a little over his head, but mentor Clive Schlee is standing by. If Pano would have started at the bottom of Pret A Manger… This is Pret A Manger with a smile.

I mention all this because I keep seeing increased General Manager reviews and staff contacting me that HQ and the top leadership are “detached” from the business. But, they’ve always been detached, they’re just good in pretending to care.

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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 Shops Closed … I Smell a Rat!

I wrote a post with 3 possibilities why several Pret shops are closed throughout the UK: “Short Term Staffing Issues“.

But I want to do an extra post adding a 4th reason. My alarm bells go off when Pret seemingly speak the truth. It is true that Pret has staff shortages, like all in the hospitality industry.

But some shops have a note on the door saying they are closed due to refurbishments. The memo didn’t get around to settle on which lie to tell I guess. So, there are always conflicting messages even within ONE shop.

Link

There are daily complaints on all social media platforms to Pret that customers cannot use their subscription as their local shop is closed. Thus they keep paying the monthly £20 without being able to get any drink. This looks typical like Pret to me ripping customers off and not giving a refund. This to me is unethical, because if Pret would care about their customers, instead of quick money coming in, they would make a list on their website with WHICH shops are currently closed and email all subscribers informing them of those shop closures.

If Pret cared, they would also put information on Pret’s subscription sign-up page, to inform any customer who is about to sign up to check THEIR area for open/closed shops BEFORE they sign up. But what am I talking??! Since when would Pret care for customers and for ethics instead of just for money.

My theory is that Pret does a clever economical thing, they take all the staff from shops that don’t bring much profit, close those shops and place the staff in the shops that do make profit.

Then Pret negotiates with landlords to get a cheaper deal or refuse to pay rent altogether, like Pret does in the USA and has at least six lawsuits on their necks for unpaid rents.

Link to June 2021 article

Link to FT article

Link to BBC article

So, saving money in rents, maybe either negotiating with landlords or refusing to pay altogether in the hopes they get away with it, as the UK is more forgiving then the USA. Pret has also received a £185 million cash injection from their in tax-haven Luxembourg based owners JAB Holding, yet do a lot of questionable money saving stunts. I list some here: Pret will INDEED try anything to survive.

Saving on overhead costs on closed shops, deliver service costs for the daily products delivered to shops from the depot, saving on shop management payroll as less Managers are needed, and then continuing to sell the coffee subscription to customers who can’t use it!

Clever deal, Pret. But in my eye highly unethical.

Also, some shop staff put the lie on the front door of a closed shop that they are closed due to refurbishment, or like the above Tweet says “nip and tuck makeover”. Well, if you’d worked at Pret like I did for 10 years (yeah, don’t ask me, it’s my biggest regret!) you would know that refurbishments in Pret take no more than 2 days, 4 days max AND that refurbishments are ALWAYS done at night, OUTSIDE of business hours so as not to disrupt the trade!

I have worked in several shops over the years where Pret did the huge refurbishments back in the early 2010s when they changed from the cold, silver, metal look to the warm wood ambience! The shops where I worked at did the refurbishment mainly during the weekends at night, but also during the week at nights. Many times when I opened the shop on Monday morning 6am, neighbours were already waiting outside fuming and then coming in to complain that builders were making unbelievable noise during the night. Builders were hammering, using the electric saw OUTSIDE to avoid too much saw dust inside for staff to have to clean … Everything was done during the night to avoid interruption to the business!

I had to personally apologize several times to rightfully angry neighbours and get them the number or email for head office. I always offered a free coffee on top of it, but some were so angry, they didn’t even want a freebie! And when Pret opens a new shop, builders in different shifts work 24/7 to get the shop opened as soon as possible. The worst that was always shocking to me was when neighbours told us of the sawing machines OUTSIDE where builders were sawing during the night! No regard whatsoever of the residential neihbourhood.

Only one of several complaints on Twitter.

Link

So, let’s see how many more lies Pret come up with and what confusing messages staff put on shop doors.

No sir, it’s not due to refurb!

Link

A FULL refurbishment doesn’t take 4 days! Even when they work only the night, it may take 4 days, but during the day the shop is open! And especially a “nip and tuck” which indicates a small refurb, doesn’t even take more than 2 nights!

Link

Pret itself give the “short term staffing disruption” on several occasions while some shops didn’t get the memo on which lie to post on the door.

I can only say to customers who have the subscription while their local Pret shop is closed, to demand a full refund for the period when the shops where closed (while having the subscription).

But Pret won’t do that, because they are not challenged by consumer rights groups or in court. In the USA there would be a class action suit in no time. But in the UK people keep giving Pret the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many customers die, how many staff speak out about exploitation and the bullying environment in Pret etc. etc.

For more on how Pret is ripping customers AND staff off: HERE again.

The rip-off also happens in the USA where customers pay for their drinks while having the subscription (pass), or the usual “no iced drinks”, no expensive plant-based milks, customers can’t cancel the subscription, and IF they manage to cancel, Pret continues to withdraw money yada yada yada …

Link

Link

Customers are continuously charged AFTER they successfully cancelled the subscription. Via YouTube:

Hardly any shop serves the expensive frappes and smoothies on subscription. This goes back since the subscription started last year which can be seen in below YouTube slide on the dates of the Tweets towards the end.

And IF people are lucky to get an iced drink (often the cheaper iced Latte or Americano, Pret managed to get 14oz cheaper paper cups from the suppliers, while claiming since MONTHS to have “supplier issues” on the more expensive 16oz plastic cups.

My question to a current Pret Barista on the cup issue, but the Barista isn’t sure why Pret changes the cups. What this Barista means by “which is bigger” is that the 14oz paper cup is bigger than the usual 12oz hot coffee paper cup, but it’s smaller to the 16oz plastic iced drink cup.

Link

Pret should actually adopt a similar slogan to what Tesco uses: “Every little helps” (for Pret that is)!

Pret in the UK did only 2 cup sizes (apart from the small espresso cup), the 12oz usual coffee paper cup and the 8oz flat white and strong espresso cup. Mind you a “strong” espresso is NOT a double shot, it’s 1.5 shots, thats why Pret NEVER advertises it as “double espresso” but “strong espresso” to not get n trouble, while paying with people’s perception of “assuming” it’s 2 shots. But Pret charges the 1.5 strong coffee shot as if it was a 2 shot coffee, just like normal cafes like Caffè Nero does. Caffè Nero does actual TWO shots as a double shot and charges the same for an extra shot like Pret does.

When a Pret customer asks for a double shot latte, the Barista presses the “strong” espresso button, which is 1.5 shots NOT 2 shots. Even when a customer asks for a latte with an extra shot, the Barista presses the strong button. ONLY when a customer asks for a latte with TWO separate shots but demands to pay for the advertised “strong latte”, the Barista reluctantly does it as an exception if the customer persists. But most customers don’t know about the 1.5 shots as they assume it’s a double shot.

Please scroll up and down in the following Twitter feed where a former Pret Barista confirms this.

Pret just uses psychology to fool people into thinking they get a double shot. Every little helps! 😉

And now Pret has added a 14oz paper cup for the iced drinks. Excuse me, how can Pret have NO “supplier issues” on the 14oz paper cups, but since MONTHS on the 16oz plastic cups?

Every little helps!

Pret confirming to a customer that their iced plastic cup is 16oz:

Link

Getting cheated out of 2oz doesn’t sound much, but it adds up. Every little helps!

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Anyone who has the subscription while local shops are closed should get a full refund.

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UPDATE 16.08.2021

It seems that Pret also closed shops in city centers to open new ones outside cities. Oh and the irony of creating 2000 new jobs! Minimum-wage jobs and facing strike action!