2,000 jobs at risk as Sainsbury’s axes 200 in-store cafes

Sainsbury’s has said it will shut 200 cafes in a shake-up of its in-store dining which is set to hit around 2,000 workers.

By Sean Gleaves
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 7:36 pm

The supermarket said it will also be consulting staff about plans to close less popular hot food counters in 34 stores and changes to how it runs bakeries in 54 branches.

It is understood this will affect a small number of employees and is included within the wider 2,000 figure.

Sainsbury’s told staff at its cafes on Tuesday morning (March 1) that it was proposing to close 200 sites in the spring.

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Sainsbury’s has said it will shut 200 cafes in a shake-up of its in-store dining which is set to hit around 2,000 workers.

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Chief executive Simon Roberts said: "As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month.

“We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain time.

“Of course, we understand this is very unsettling for our colleagues, but we must keep adapting our business to make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices.

It is the latest in a raft of recent restructuring moves by the retailer as it seeks to keep a lid on rising costs.

Workers affected by the closures will be prioritised for vacant roles in stores and will be encouraged to apply for jobs elsewhere in the business.

The remaining 67 in-store cafes will stay open while the company reviews changes to its dining operations.

Its decision to close the cafes is a part of a wider move to transform its dining, takeaway and home delivery food and drink offer from stores.

Sainsbury’s said it will also open 30 more restaurant hubs in stores in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), which runs the Caffe Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens brands.

It said the move follows a successful trial partnership at its branch in Selly Oak, Birmingham.

In April 2021, Sainsbury’s said 1,200 jobs were at risk from plans to stop baking products in some stores, while it cut around 3,500 jobs due to the closure of fresh meat and fish counters in November 2020.

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