Pret’s Five-Point Allergy Plan
We may be focused on freshness and fanatical about flavour but nothing is more important than the safety of our customers.
Here at Pret, our commitment to people with food allergies and intolerances is absolutely clear. We want to give you the best possible information about all our food and drink, so you can make the right choice for you.
But this commitment goes beyond labelling the ingredients we use. We’ve listened to Pret customers with allergies who told us about the issues they face when eating out. So we’ve set out a plan to help people with allergies get the information they need to make the right choices for them.
In 2019, we announced the Pret Allergy Action Plan - a five-point plan outlining the meaningful changes we’ve made to support customers with allergies and food hypersensitivity. The plan led to one of the biggest operational changes in our history, and the work hasn’t stopped since.
So what is the Pret Allergy Plan? We’ve set out all five points in full so you can see what we’ve achieved, while this video about the Five Point Allergy Plan also shares some of our experiences so far.
But we’re not done yet. Our task now is to continue to build on the work set out in the Pret Allergy Plan.
1. To put full ingredient labels on all freshly made products in every UK shop
Our number one priority back in May 2019 was to ensure that all of our UK shops would have full ingredient labels on all freshly made products. And now they do! We are proud to have led the food-to-go industry in this area, rolling out the labels two years ahead of new legislation coming into effect.
Labelling every single item that leaves our kitchen is no mean feat. Software developers created new labelling technologies. Nine thousand Team Members undertook a comprehensive training programme on how to use them. Walls were knocked down to provide extra space in our kitchens.
But this mammoth effort was worth it. It means that whenever you buy a freshly made sandwich, wrap, salad, baguette or soup from Pret you know it’s been labelled that day with a full list of what’s in it, with the presence of any of the 14 EU declarable allergens, plus pine nuts in the UK, highlighted in bold.
2. To put ingredient information tablets into every UK shop
We didn’t just put new kit in the kitchen. We introduced tablets with Pret’s menu in every shop, allowing you to filter out ingredients so you can find products perfect for you. Since the tablets were rolled out, we have seen that the vast majority of customers are accessing this information in other ways, including the full ingredient labels found on all of our products or the allergen guide available on our website.
We therefore decided to remove the tablets and replace them with new QR code signs placed prominently around all of our shops, which link through to our online menu. These, combined with our full-ingredient labels and physical in-shop allergen guides, will continue to help every customer get the information they need to make the right choice for them.
3. To use less allergens full stop
There are many barriers to eating out when you’ve got a food allergy. So to make life a little easier, we gave over 70 Pret recipes a makeover, removing one or more allergens without compromising on taste. This was in addition to a new step in Pret’s product development process, where potential allergens are reduced right from the get-go.
We're proud to freshly prepare our food in our shop kitchens every day, but, as we use many ingredients and shared equipment, we are unable to guarantee that our food is allergen free due to the risk of cross-contact.
4. To lead an inside-out approach to allergy awareness for our people
It’s vital our people know as much as possible about allergies. So we’ve built on our existing allergy training programme since 2019. This includes the Pret Academy (online and on-the-job modules) to encourage the right behaviours and understanding of allergies in every shop; mandatory Allergy Awareness courses for all Team Members; as well as the rollout of supervised exams on allergens for all of our Shop Managers.
We’ve added allergy awareness to Pret’s weekly “mystery shopper” programme. And we’ve added new upskilling programmes for 1,000 Baristas, Hot Chefs and other key roles, including an additional £1m investment in higher rates of pay for those who complete additional training.
5. To be more transparent about food safety and ingredients
We’re also taking steps that will help boost transparency of food industry-wide, producing regular detailed updates on food safety and ingredients.
Want to know more about how we protect people with allergies? Read about how we label our ingredients in all our freshly made products.
Pret’s Allergen Awareness Training
Nothing is more important to us than your safety. So find out more about the allergen awareness training we give to every member of our hard-working team.