MILAN – Costa Coffee, a unit of Coca-Cola Co., said on Thursday that up to 1,650 roles in its UK outlets are at risk of being cut, as it is forced to reduce costs because of the impact of coronavirus.
The coffee chain, which employs around 16,000 people across 1,600 wholly-owned stores in the United Kingdom, said it has plans to remove the role of assistant store manager in its branches across the UK.
The business model of Costa’s coffee shops, located mainly in town centres and cities, has been hammered as many people still work from home.
The firm is consulting with staff to try to find roles in other parts of the business for those facing redundancy.
Costa said the decision to cut jobs was an “extremely difficult” one to make. Britain has been encouraging people to get back to their places of work, ramping up Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calls to revive the economy.
“While trade is returning, helped by the Government’s VAT reduction, which Costa passed on to customers in full, and the recent “Eat Out To Help Out” Scheme, there remain high levels of uncertainty as to when trade will recover to pre-COVID levels,” Costa said.
It added that it had already frozen all pay increases within its support centre and cut all non-essential expenditure.
Neil Lake, Managing Director for Costa Coffee UK and Ireland said:
“Today’s announcement to our store teams was an extremely difficult decision to make. Our baristas are the heart of the Costa business and I am truly sorry that many now face uncertainty following today’s news.
“We have had to make these difficult decisions to protect the business and ensure we safeguard as many jobs as possible for our 16,000 team members, whilst emerging stronger ready for future growth.
“As a proud member of the UK high street, we remain committed to the role Costa plays in supporting the economic recovery of the country, but today I want to say a huge thank you to all of our team members that are affected by this announcement and we will be supporting you throughout this process.”