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 impact more than a 10th of roles.
The move comes a week after rival Pret A Manger revealed it was slashing 2,800 roles 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 had 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”.
Neil Lake, managing director for Costa Coffee UK and 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.”