Sandwich chain Pret A Manger has announced plans to open an outlet run by staff who were once homeless.
Pret has run a ‘Rising Stars’ programme for 10 years, where it trains people who are homeless in an effort to break the cycle of homelessness.
In a blog written by the CEO Clive Schlee, he said that the company had the idea for the shop two years ago but did not have enough staff to make up a full structure. However, as the scheme has just celebrated its 10th year, Schlee said that the company has developed enough Rising Stars to become managers, team leaders, baristas and hot chefs.
In the time that the scheme has been running, the sandwich chain has employed over 400 people who were once homeless.
Schlee said: “Our graduated Rising Stars are so proud of what they’ve achieved. They want to show what they’re capable of and become mentors to those joining our unique programme. They feel that a Rising Star shop would be the perfect place to do this. They also hope it would encourage other companies to employ more people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“We have learned so much in 10 years of running this programme and it feels like the right time to give our Stars their next challenge. Watch this space.”