LONDON: British bakery operator Greggs said it will pay staff a special bonus after what the chief executive described as a “phenomenal” year that included the launch of a vegan-friendly sausage roll and higher-than-expected profits.
Greggs, present in more than 2,000 stores in Britain, recently also launched a vegan version of its steak bake as more and more Britons try to cut down on meat and dairy. The company said it would spend £7 million ($9.2m) on a one-off payment for its 25,000 employees, giving around 19,000 of its longest-serving staff about £300 each.
CEO Roger Whiteside called 2019 “phenomenal” and said Greggs, which already shares 10 per cent of annual profits with staff, was making an extra payout for the first time.
“This is all about the front line getting £300 in their pocket as a thank you at the end of January for their help in delivering what has been an exceptional year,” he said.
Underlying store sales grew 9.2pc over the 12 months to 28 December, as it attracted new customers for products including a vegan doughnut and vegan soups.
In a sign of the fanfare attached to vegan launches, earlier in January, dozens of people were pictured queuing at midnight at a Greggs branch in northern England to be the first to try the vegan steak bake.