Ceo's Blog

Three Simple Rules to
Get Ahead

26th May 2015

One of our school leavers, Honeybea Youngman, won School Leaver of the Year at the Top Employers for School & College Leavers awards last week. Here are three simple bits of advice to help her and others to progress their careers:

1. Be direct and give feedback. Young people are usually shy about giving direct opinions, particularly to their seniors. This is borne out of a desire to avoid conflict, but it holds people back. The CEO’s first job is to define reality and he or she craves the truth. When I left university, I never dared contradict my seniors and it took a five year assignment in Australia for me to learn to give direct feedback to my teams. It’s important to give your views and to keep the organisation as close to the truth as you can. There’s a wonderful introduction that never fails, even with a boss: “can I be direct with you?”

2. Get yourself profit and loss responsibility as soon as you can. One of the reasons being a Pret shop manager is satisfying is that you have complete control over a profit and loss account, often from a remarkably early age. Working without a profit and loss account is like a warm up – the action starts when the match begins. I wasn’t responsible for a profit and loss until I was 27 and when it happened, my commitment quadrupled. Not everyone can have profit and loss accountability, but try to get some version of it and watch what it does to you.

Inside our training academy
Pret's latest School Leaver recruits at our Training Academy

3. “If you’re not fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm” is a trusted fast food adage. Customers, teams, parents and children all love enthusiasm, and bosses are no exception. If you enjoy your work, you will unleash infectious energy amongst those around you and it will be noticed. Laugh and the world laughs with you…….

If you want to apply for a career at Pret, see our ‘Good Jobs For Good People’ page.

Tweet me your feedback @Cliveschlee


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Clive joined Pret as CEO in 2003. Clive has over 25 years’ experience in the retail food business with Pret, Itsu and Jardine Matheson, the Hong Kong-based multi-national.

Say hello to @Cliveschlee

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Follow Clive, our CEO, for Pret company news (and views on the importance of good grammar).


27 April 2015

Pret A Manger released its financial results last week. Whilst they were decent, the press quickly focused on something more unusual: Pret’s policy (by no means new) of encouraging its employees to give away free coffee to customers.

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