Pano Christou, the CEO of Pret a Manger, has said that he will prioritize taking care of his staff and customers, despite warnings from the Bank of England about inflation.
The governor and chief economist of the Bank of England have cautioned that increases in wages and prices could harm the bank’s efforts to control inflation.
On a recent episode of the Ian King Live programme, Christou said that the company’s focus was on two thing.
“Number one is giving our teams the right pay to ensure they are looked after during these challenging environments… and that our people can live the lives they deserve to live.
And I think the other focus will be ensuring we’ve got great value for our customers.”
He added that Pret had given its staff a nearly 20% pay rise in the past year and that the company might have to offer another increase this year if inflation continues to rise.
Despite warnings from the Bank of England’s governor and chief economist, Christou emphasized that Pret would continue to prioritize its staff and customers.
He stated, “the government and Bank of England are accountable for looking after their inflation, but from our perspective, our people and our customers are what we will continue to look after.”
The Bank of England’s chief economist, Huw Pill, recently told a podcast that people should accept they are poorer rather than asking for higher wages or charging customers more money in response to higher costs.
Mr. Pill’s remarks echoed earlier warnings from the Bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey.
While inflation remains above 10%, despite consecutive interest rate increases since December 2021, much of the inflation is due to factors outside the Bank’s control, such as energy and food costs.
However, the Bank is concerned about secondary effects, such as wage increases, which could make its job more challenging.
Despite the Bank’s warnings, Christou emphasized that Pret had a duty to ensure that it was looking after its people in the right way and supporting them through this difficult time, particularly given the hard work of Pret’s staff and the low level of unemployment.