Sainsbury’s puts 2,000 jobs at risk with eat-in and takeaway transformation

Sainsbury’s is putting 2,000 jobs at risk as it transforms its eat-in and takeaway food offer, closing 200 in-store cafes as well as a number of fresh bakeries and hot food counters.

The cafes are expected to close by this spring, putting around 2,000 roles at risk of redundancy. Just 67 of Sainsbury’s cafes will stay open while the rollout plans are reviewed.

The supermarket has also said it will close “less popular” hot food counters in 34 stores and “simplify the way it runs its bakeries” in 54 stores. It will be offering bakery and deli staff alternative roles wherever possible.

The closures come as the supermarket adapts its business to “make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices”. The new plans will see Sainsbury’s transform its eat-in, takeaway and home delivery food and drink offer, following a successful trial of new food hall format The Restaurant Hub.

Working in in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), Sainsbury’s plans to open 30 Restaurant Hub food halls over the next year. Customers can enjoy eat-in, takeaway and delivery from a range of popular brands, including Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens.

Read more: Sainsbury’s expands Local stores after Neighbourhood Hub success

The intention is to accelerate the roll-out over the next “two to three years” if the format proves popular with customers.

Sainsbury’s will also open a further 30 Starbucks coffee shops in supermarkets over the next year, bringing the total number to 60.

Working with BRG and Starbucks, Sainsbury’s plans to transform the eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and drink offer in 250 of its supermarkets over the next three years.

“We know that customers like the convenience of being able to have a drink, a snack or a meal while they’re doing their shopping – and that they love the range of food and brands on offer at The Restaurant Hub and from Starbucks,” said CEO Simon Roberts.

“Through our trials with Boparan Restaurant Group and Starbucks we have learnt that we can offer customers a much better eat-in and takeaway experience working with partners.

“We are totally focused on improving what we can deliver for our customers and at the same time, working hard to make our business simpler. We are really excited about this new customer offer we will be rolling out over the next two to three years across many of our stores.

“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 anyway 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.”

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