The sandwich chain’s Rising Stars programme launched over ten years ago and has employed over 400 ex-homeless people since it started.
Writing in a blog post Pret CEO Clive Schlee said the idea was mooted two years ago but never got off the ground as there weren’t enough Rising Star graduates at management level to run the store.
Enough have now risen through the ranks to become managers, team leaders, baristas and hot chefs to staff a shop, he said.
“Our graduated Rising Stars are so proud of what they’ve achieved,” wrote Schlee. “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 ten years of running this programme and it feels like the right time to give our Stars their next challenge and opportunity… Watch this space!”
With the hospitality industry facing skills shortages across the board, a growing number of restaurant groups including Pho and The Breakfast Club are reaping the benefits of employing more marginalised people.