Pret a Manger has distanced itself from its founder Julian Metcalfe and criticised his opposition to a second coronavirus lockdown.
Metcalfe, who also founded sushi chain Itsu, said young people would pay the economic price of the lockdown, saying it would only save the lives of a “a few thousand” old or vulnerable people.
Pret said it did not agree with him, and that he had not been in charge of the firm, which he founded in London in 1986, for more than 10 years.
Metcalfe said: ‘Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people.”
‘The young people of this country will be paying for this for the next 20 to 30 years. It’s terrible what’s happening. Just because France does this with its socialist government, doesn’t mean we have to,” he added, according to the Daily Mail.
In response, the sandwich chain, which has been forced to close stores and axe jobs during the pandemic, said it is in support of measures to battle the virus.
In a statement this morning Pret said: “We are aware of Julian Metcalfe’s comments this morning, but he has not run the business for over ten years and we do not agree with his opinion.
“We at Pret strongly believe we must take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections.”