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Esme Harrington, Pret a Manger team member
Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you work in Pret a Manger

Written by
Danielle Goldstein

…according to Esme Harrington, 23.

Pret’s staff really are that happy…

‘I had my suspicions when I started. Everyone is friendly and happy all the time, even during the chaotic times, so I was like, “Okay, are you serious?” But it’s fun working in Pret. No one tells you to stop talking to customers or stop talking among yourselves. The majority of the time, everyone is genuinely that happy.’

…possibly because of their great office parties

‘We have Friday night drinks at the end of every month and big parties for summer and Christmas. The Christmas party last year was at the Roundhouse and another one at Ministry of Sound. They really make an effort.’

If you make your barista laugh you’ll increase your chances of a freebie

‘We’re allowed to give out free coffee, and the biggest reason is if someone can make you laugh. If someone’s a regular I’ll give them a free coffee because they already spend quite a bit of their money here, but if someone makes the effort to engage with me and have a laugh, I think they definitely deserve a free coffee.’

Some customers are very generous…

‘I’ve had people bring me chocolates before. There was one girl who worked here and these guys from a clothes shop would bring her scarves when it was coming up to Christmas, or a present when she was going on holiday.’

…but others can be infuriating

‘Lots of people come in with earphones in. You’ll ask if they want to eat in or take away and they’ll just stare at you and motion with their card, or take one earphone out and make it seem like it’s a really big deal. I’ve got to ask these questions, you know?’

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