Popular sandwich takeaway Pret was forced to temporarily close down its stores as the UK lockdown took effect due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, yesterday Pret’s CEO Pano Christou announced that 10 stores will reopen near London hospitals from Thursday April 16.
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Providing a limited menu, the stores will be open for business at 10 London locations in order to support key workers around the capital. NHS workers will also continue to receive a 50 percent discount until the end of April.
The CEO wrote in a blog post on the company’s website: “Since we temporarily closed our doors, our charity vans have donated 477,000 Pret items to 138 of our charity partners and 40 hospitals.
“But we’ve also been hearing from local NHS workers and hospitals that they want to be able to access freshly made food nearby.”
The chain has been looking at ways to serve the public and key workers in accordance with the lockdown guidelines. The 10 open stores will offer fresh Pret favourites as well as essentials including milk, bread and butter.
The takeaway chain originally closed to protect its staff and follow the government’s strict lockdown guidelines.
However, takeaway outlets are permitted to stay open, and food is allowed to be prepared for collection or delivery.
The company’s staff have now volunteered to help make this happen. In the blog the CEO continued, “We are incredibly grateful that 160 Team Members have volunteered to help reopen 10 shops in London, located close to hospitals.
“In doing so, this will help give frontline healthcare workers better access to freshly prepared food while also getting our supply chain up and running again to deliver food to the homeless.”
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Pret is best known for its morning pastries and coffees as well as fresh sandwiches, salads and wraps, usually busy serving commuters – but it will now turn its attention to focusing on providing food to key workers who can’t stay home.
The chief executive officer added that they’ve put social distancing measures into place in order to ensure the safety of both staff and customers.
Thanking the customers for their support through the crisis, Christou said the brand’s charity efforts will also continue.
“We’re bringing back our 50 percent discount for NHS workers until the end of the month and 7,000 additional meals per week will be donated to our charity partners, including The Felix Project as part of the Evening Standard’s appeal.”
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Full list of Pret stores reopening
- Fulham Road
- South Kensington
- St George University
- St John’s Wood
- Tooting Broadway
- Kings Road
- City Road
- Great Portland Street
- Vauxhall, St George’s Wharf
- Warren Street
Writing on the Pret website’s homepage, the CEO sent out his gratitude to the staff who are taking part in reopening the stores. “A huge thank you to our Team Members who have volunteered to make this possible.”
The news comes as two other major takeaway chains announced limited reopening programmes, with Burger King and KFC opening its doors at certain locations around the country for delivery only.
As the UK is told to stay home in order to stay safe, food deliveries have become more vital than ever – though with many restaurants having to close down, business has been difficult.
It’s hoped these small but important changes from the sandwich chain will support the vulnerable as well as the economy.
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