High street coffee chain Caffè Nero has stopped giving its staff free lunches, in response to the National Living Wage (NLW), which came into effect on 1 April.

Staff at Caffè Nero have been told they will no longer receive free lunches during their shift because of the NLW.

In a statement, the coffee chain warned that the NLW would have a “significant financial impact on the business” and the move was needed in order to keep costs down.

However, the coffee retailer has said it will implement the NLW across all staff, including those under 25 who aren’t actually affected by the new law.

They will also receive a 65% discount on food, and get free coffee.

The Caffè Nero representative said: “All current employees will continue to receive paid breaks, and a substantial discount on food and drink bought when on shift.

“Employees currently paid over the National Living Wage have all had a full pay review, and the majority will be receiving a pay increase, depending on their role or situation.

“The introduction of a new National Living Wage is a huge potential cost to the business, but also a great opportunity to review pay, and reward employees for their investment in Caffè Nero.”

Last month, Caffè Nero came under widespread media criticism for paying no corporation tax in the last financial year, despite posting a profit of almost £23.6m.