Reports of Tesco’s plans to close more than 100 in-store bakeries has been met with anger from staff.
Employees took to online forum Very Little Helps to voice concerns surrounding the change.
One user said: “Euphorium is not right for every store, but I can well imagine Tesco is considering doing away with scratch baking in every store. In my store the ISB sales are £8k, but payroll including overtime is £3.5k. When you add all the other costs is there any profit at all?”
Another commented: “Shrinking profit margins in the ISBs have ‘forced’ the company’s hand into pushing the switch through earlier than planned, massive money savings by getting rid of skilled workers and I look forward to their attempts to market this as anything other than a callous cost-cutting exorcise.”
The supermarket chain will open a new bakery in Weybridge, Surrey, producing fresh bread and bakery products, as part of its growing Euphorium project.
The move will take place across branches in south-west London, Surrey and Berkshire.
Yesterday (6 May 2014), a spokesperson for Tesco told British Baker that by introducing the Euphorium range across its stores, 1,000 roles would be created for Tesco’s 600 current bakery staff to work in the new concessions in stores or at Weybridge.
“My store is only a 10-minute drive from there and our bakery staff have not been given the opportunity to join this company,” posted one user.
Another said: “Would not bother looking for a job with Euphorium. I checked out the recruitment page and the wage is 2t [£2k] less for a Euphorium store-based manager than what I’m currently earning and I’m at the lowest rate, being in a small superstore.”
However, Steve Dresser, director of analysis firm Grocery Insight, told British Baker that with falling sales, Tesco’s decision was the right one.
Dresser said: "I can see the raison d’être for Tesco to do this from a profitability viewpoint, and having facilities via Euphorium means they’re utilising their investment which will improve returns on the capital employed buying a share of that business.
"However it will cost people their jobs, and having the control and flexibility within a bakery operation means you can react to good weather by producing more soft rolls, for example."
Check out British Baker’s interactive timeline on Euphorium Bakery here.