Bakery giant Greggs has apologised to a local baker after being accused of “poaching staff”. 

Coughlans, which operates 23 shops in the Surrey and Greater London area, claimed that senior management from Greggs entered shops, had a drink and offered the store manager a job on the spot on two occasions. Sean Coughlan, director of the business, said similar incidents occurred last year at its Wallington site and recently at its Purley store, both in Surrey.

Two Greggs employees allegedly approached Coughlans’ Purley store manager and offered her more money to work for the super-bakery instead, which she declined and informed her bosses.

Greggs failed to respond to Coughlan’s tweets but did call to issue an apology after British Baker took the matter up.

A Greggs spokesperson told British Baker: “We have spoken to the management at Coughlans regarding its concerns and now consider the matter closed.”

Coughlan said: “They have spoken to me and were very nice, very apologetic. He said they don’t expect their staff to do this and is looking into it further. I accept the apology as long as it doesn’t happen again, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. I said that, as bakers, we should respect each other.

"It is a hard industry and we are in a very diverse area in terms of custom so people are looking for lots of different things – not just bakery – so we have to help each other out.

“The last thing I want is to fall out with them, but they need to be told that it’s not fair.”