Around 4,000 staff at the company will share in a £4m pot as part of a payout ordered by outgoing Wagamama chief executive Jane Holbrook and Wagamama’s former private equity owner Duke Street.
Staff who had been with the business for 12 months as of 28 November will receive a £1,000 bonus, with general managers and head chefs in each of the restaurants each being given £2,000.
The decision is said to have been inspired by sandwich chain Pret a Manger’s similar move following its sale to JAB Holdings for £1.5bn in May this year.
“When I saw Pret do it, I knew I wanted to do the same,” Holbrook told BigHospitality’s sister publication MCA. “It’s such a powerful message that it’s our teams who have made us what we are and they deserve to share in this.
“We announced it internally this week and some of the messages we have received have genuinely made me cry. It’s allowed people to go and visit their families over Christmas and done things they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.”
The £559m sale of Wagamama to TRG is scheduled to complete tomorrow (21 December), with Holbrook stepping down immediately.