The company permanently closed around 30 sites last year and today has close to 400 UK branches and around 6200 staff that the pay increase will apply.
A spokesman for the group said: “We always said we would invest back into pay and benefits as soon as we were in a position to so. The majority of our UK shops are now back on track, with many of our regional shops performing better than ever, and our London City shops have recovered 80% of pre-pandemic trade.”
The spokesman added that store staff will receive a 5% pay increase, moving Pret’s minimum pay rate to £9.40. A free food allowance is also in place for while on shift.
Various companies have been offering higher wages at a time when competition for staff is high.
The Evening Standard has previously reported that a combination of Brexit and the pandemic has seen many young workers return to their home countries, while some furloughed staff took up jobs in other sectors over the past year as hospitality faced long periods shuttered and uncertain re-openings.
Earlier this week it emerged that Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group would put up chef wages in areas hardest-hit by the hospitality sector’s ongoing labour shortage.
In an email to employees today, Clare Clough, Pret’s UK managing director, said: “As well as recognising your dedication, we also hope that this investment will support the team’s recruitment efforts.”
Clough also said: “We are still on the road to recovery but I’m so pleased we’re now able to take this step. We will be reviewing pay again in April 2022.”
Hospitality news site Propel, which first reported the wage increase, said that earlier this week Pret chief executive Pano Christou reported employees returning to offices last week drove a 15% sales uplift in city centres in just seven days.