Figures compiled by Pret, whose expansion to some 300 London stores was fueled by the city’s booming economy before the coronavirus, are a real-time gauge of the UK’s recovery from its worst recession in three centuries .
Sandwich shop transactions are not a perfect metric, and other metrics, such as transit traffic, will help complete the picture. Still, the data gives some idea of the demand for breakfast and lunch, as well as the workforce, as stores like Pret employ many of the UK’s 3 million hotel industry workers.
The index is calculated against a January 2020 base, before the pandemic hit the UK, and compares transaction data from March 8 – the week before schools in England reopened – to the average of that month. Each point (0.01) of the index represents a 1% progression towards the return to those January 2020 levels.
Stores are grouped together to show where consumers reappear after three lockdowns in a year. While the back-to-school and reopening of non-essential retailers have given a boost to nearby fast food outlets, financial districts will continue to lag behind, said Pret CEO Pano Christou. , in an interview.
“I think work habits will be different in the long run,” he said. “Hybrid and flexible working is a thing now and will remain so. In our opinion, the city will take many, many years to come back. “