Pret’s Allergen Awareness Training
Bringing Pret to the people means more than just showing up on every corner. It’s about breaking down the barriers to entry - something that’s really important for people living with food allergies and intolerances.
We know that eating out when you have a food allergy can be challenging. So to help you feel more confident, we thought we’d let you know a little more about how we train our team in allergen awareness here at Pret.
From front-of-house to behind-the-scenes, allergen awareness is embedded into everything we do. And, whether they’re pouring your organic latte, serving your soup or chopping, dicing and slicing in our kitchens, every one of the real people working in our shops plays their part.
Creating this positive, allergen aware food culture starts with our industry-leading training, something we take very seriously. But just be aware that while we do our very best to train our staff, we cannot guarantee that any item is completely allergen-free.
Our coffee counters and kitchens are busy places using shared equipment to prepare, store, and handle multiple ingredients. While we take precautions, there is always a possibility that different products will come into contact with each other.
Allergen aware, right from the get-go
Whether they’re a would-be Barista or hopeful Hot Chef, allergen training is such an important part of every role on offer at Pret that all new Team Members complete an Allergen Awareness course at induction.
Team Members are not allowed to work in the kitchen unsupervised until they pass the test and must take part in refresher training each year.
The industry-leading course is approved by Highfields (the UK’s top awarding body) and covers…
From personal hygiene to avoiding cross-contamination when handling and storing food, this module trains staff to act safely and responsibly, in accordance with Food and Health & Safety Regulations.
Team Members learn to identify and recognise all of the products we sell in our shops.
Working on coffee
Making the perfectly prepared hot drink means more than just knowing their lattes from their mochas. Our Baristas learn how to use the milk jugs correctly and how to clearly label hot drinks so you know exactly what’s inside.
Baristas are trained in our Coffee Calling process. It means we’ll always repeat your order several times so you can be sure we’re giving you the right drink. They’ll repeat your drink choices back to you when they take your order at the till, when the Barista has finished making your drink, and then again when the server passes you your drink. This gives plenty of opportunity for you to let them know if it’s not right for you.
Team Members learn to identify the risks of allergens in our shops. They’re also trained in how to deal with a customer's ingredient related query correctly.
Full ingredient labelling
Kitchen staff are fully trained in Pret’s 11-part production process (our prescribed way of producing the food). The process starts from preparation right through to labelling, so you know exactly what’s gone into the food you’re eating.
Keeping our managers allergy aware
Our managers receive some extra training. Assistant managers must complete various training modules in our internal systems, while general managers will have attended exams and completed a Highfields L3 Qualification in Food Allergen Management in Catering.
It means that no matter what day you visit us, there’ll always be someone on hand to answer your queries.
Allergen awareness around the world
We have introduced a global policy pulling together all our allergen-focused requirements into one location, to provide one clear policy. This has been trained out globally to all technical, trading, safety, depot, food and coffee teams.
Pret’s investment in allergy training
To encourage the right behaviours and understanding of allergies in every shop, we’re building on our existing allergy training programme, which includes the Pret Academy (online and on-the-job modules).
We also 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 roles, including an additional £1m investment in higher rates of pay for those who complete additional training.
It’s all part of Pret’s Five Point Allergy Plan, our long-term commitment to those living with food allergies and intolerances.
Want to know about the ingredients in the food we sell at Pret? Read our in-depth Allergy Guide or find out more about our approach to risk assessment.