Pret issues statement on founder's controversial Covid comments 1 month ago

Pret issues statement on founder's controversial Covid comments

"We at Pret strongly believe we must take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections"

Pret has distanced itself from comments made by the coffee chain's founder Julian Metcalfe on a second Covid lockdown.

Metcalfe said that: "Society will not recover if we [have a second lockdown] to save a few thousand lives."

The statement on Twitter said that the chain "does not agree" with his comments and that he has not run the chain for over a decade.

On the subject of a second lockdown, Julian Metcalfe told The Daily Mail: "Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people."

"The young people of this country will be paying for this for the next 20 to 30 years. It's terrible what's happening. Just because France does this with its socialist government, doesn't mean we have to."

Metcalfe's comments quickly drew scorn across social media on Thursday morning.


The chain has now responded, disagreeing with his opinion.

"We are aware of Julian Metcalfe’s comments this morning, but he has not run the business for over ten years and we do not agree with his opinion."

"We at Pret strongly believe we must take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections."

Julian Metcalfe founded Pret a Manger in 1986 with college friend Sinclair Beecham, opening the first location in London.

In 2018, Pret was bought by JAB Holdings Company, in a deal reportedly worth £1.5 billion.

In 1997, he launched Asian-inspired food chain Itsu.

Julian Metcalfe was awarded an OBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours for his services to the hospitality industry.

Pret has been hit hard by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, as a large part of their business is selling food to office workers who are now working from home. In August they announced they would be cutting 2,890 jobs in the UK due to the impact of the pandemic.