Sandwich chain Pret has come under fire after a picture emerged of a female worker wearing a badge saying “I am New, Kiss Me!”
The picture was taken by journalist Bella Mackie who labelled it “kind of gross”.
She shared the image on social media where it caught the attention of former deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman.
The MP – and Pret regular – told the company it needed to “stop it immediately” if the badge was “for real”.
Other customers also called out the chain.
@Pret can kiss my daily purchase GOODBYE.
Disgusting. https://t.co/Ou7P9tlJLi— Jasön (@Extraboringname) November 13, 2017
Come on @Pret, it's kind of stupid and insensitive as well, and suggests that you haven't been listening to the news. Or you don't care: nothing should get in the way of a good slogan? Why in any case should adults starting work with you be patronised? https://t.co/xxELv6UpA4— Jon Monty (@jonmsays) November 14, 2017
But Pret was quick to point out that it didn’t make anyone wear such badges or hand them out, although they are available to be personalised by staff.
In a response to Harman, the MP for Camberwell and Peckham, Pret wrote on Twitter: “We definitely do not make them wear badges with these kinds of messages on”.
Hi Harriet, our teams can order and personalise badges themselves, however we definitely do not make them wear badges with these kinds of messages on. We are looking into this with the team immediately.— Pret (@Pret) November 14, 2017
Thanks for this quick reply. As an avid customer I hoped it wasn't (and glad to hear it isn't) "policy"! https://t.co/WIqhCVZeGn— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) November 14, 2017
In further replies to people on Twitter, the chain added: “Our teams can print and personalise their badges but we’ll be making sure this does not happen in the future.”
It also called the badge’s message “completely unacceptable”.
Hi Rebecca, we agree this is completely unacceptable and we are investigating it as a matter of urgency.— Pret (@Pret) November 13, 2017
But people rallied around the unidentified member of staff from Pret, concerned that she should not get into trouble for the badge’s message.