Cafe chain Costa has said 1,650 staff are at risk of redundancy as it looks to cut costs amid continued uncertainty over when trade will fully recover following the pandemic.
It told staff on Thursday that it has started consultations which could affect more than a 10th of roles.
The move comes a week after rival Pret A Manger revealed it was slashing 2,800 jobs as part of a restructure of its UK business.
Costa closed nearly all of its 2,700 UK stores for six weeks during the pandemic but has now reopened around 2,400 sites.
Pride cups, gold cups, stone effect cups, and even clever cups – we are obsessed with reusables! We reintroduced reusable cups back into our stores on 4th June, to help us continue reducing the number of takeaway cups being used. Plus you get 25p off when you use one! pic.twitter.com/B3yfHKwP0t
— Costa Coffee (@CostaCoffee) September 1, 2020
The Coca Cola-owned chain said trade is “returning” after being boosted by the Government’s VAT reduction on food and non-alcoholic drinks and the recent Eat Out To Help Out scheme.
However, it said the proposed job cuts had been driven by “high levels of uncertainty as to when trade will recover to pre-Covid levels”.
The restructuring proposes removal of the assistant store manager role across its UK business.
Costa stressed that it will seek to find those at risk alternative jobs in the business where possible, and provide support for those leaving.
The company has also frozen all pay increases within its head office and axed all non-essential expenditure as part of its cost-cutting efforts.
Neil Lake, managing director for Costa Coffee UK & Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement to our store teams was an extremely difficult decision to make.
“Our baristas are the heart of the Costa business and I am truly sorry that many now face uncertainty following today’s news.
“We have had to make these difficult decisions to protect the business and ensure we safeguard as many jobs as possible for our 16,000 team members, whilst emerging stronger ready for future growth.
“As a proud member of the UK high street, we remain committed to the role Costa plays in supporting the economic recovery of the country, but today I want to say a huge thank you to all of our team members that are affected by this announcement and we will be supporting you throughout this process.”