Coronavirus: Costa, Pret and other chains close sites

Bakery and café chains are continuing to close their stores following the Prime Minister’s instructions for pubs, restaurants and cafés to shut to help delay the spread of Covid-19.

While Boris Johnson said businesses could continue to offer a take-out service, Starbucks and West Cornwall Pasty Co swiftly announced the closure of their sites.

Since then, further major brands have taken the decision to shutter their stores on a temporary basis.

Costa Coffee has this morning (23 March) announced it will be closing all its stores from this evening, but said it would try to keep Costa stores in hospitals open and would continue to provide free takeaway coffee for the next two weeks to NHS workers. It also plans to keep Costa Express machines available.

“During these unprecedented times, we are extremely grateful for the service our staff have continued to deliver to our customers,” said Costa chief executive Jill McDonald. “As previously communicated, we will be paying all our store team members, whose store has closed, their full average weekly pay over eight weeks.”

McDonald thanked the Costa store teams: “During a lot of uncertainty over the past few weeks, they have continued to provide a warm and welcoming environment, and great service to our loyal customers.”

Patisserie Valerie has closed all its stores and online services, announced CEO James Fleming over the weekend.

“Regrettably this has had an effect on our amazing team at Patisserie Valerie who, over the years, have shown incredible loyalty and resilience. We are here to support and guide them through what is a really challenging and difficult time.”

“This is unprecedented and never have I had to make such difficult decisions,” he added. “I do, however, genuinely believe that, with the support and loyalty of our wonderful teams and guests, Patisserie Valerie will come back stronger than ever.”

Subway has today (23 March) authorised all its franchise owners to close it stores in the UK & Ireland from tonight.

"We took this decision as we want to continue doing everything in our power to keep people safe," said Colin Hughes, country director for the UK & Ireland.

Pret A Manger announced on Saturday afternoon that it would be closing all its UK shops, but said no jobs would be lost because of the temporary closure.

“My priority is always to protect our teams as much as we can,” said CEO Pano Christou. “For this reason, we will be closing all our UK shops temporarily from this evening. We will, of course, ensure any excess food goes to those who need it most.

“We look forward to being a part of your daily lives again soon. Until then, stay healthy and look after each other.”

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