Greggs joins Pret and McDonald's giving free hot drinks

Greggs joins Pret and McDonald’s giving free hot drinks and discounts to NHS staff to say thank you as they battle on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak

  • Greggs will be offering emergency service staff with free drinks to say thank you
  • The official Pret Twitter account announced the news of free drinks this morning 
  • It added that NHS staff would also be entitled to 50 per cent of everything else 
  • McDonald’s is also offering NHS staff free drinks while restaurants remain open
  • Co-op to offer free lunches to pupils at closed academies who normally get them
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Greggs has become the latest food distributor to provide emergency service staff on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak with free drinks. 

The high-street food chain announced that it would be offering beverages to NHS staff and social care workers in appreciation of their efforts amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In order to collect a free drink, those working for the health sector will be asked to show their work pass as proof of their profession.

In a statement the bakery chain said: ‘Greggs has a long-standing history of supporting the communities that we serve, and we’ll continue to help the Greggs Foundation donate unsold food to good causes and deliver the programmes that support those in need.

The bakery chain Greggs will provide emergency service staff with free beverages amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Stock image)

It comes after the official Pret Twitter account said hot drinks would be ‘on the house’ for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, and discounts are being offered on food

‘In addition, we’ll be offering all emergency service personnel and health and social care workers free hot drinks on presentation of their work pass – they are doing an amazing job, and this is the least we can do to support them.’

The company added: ‘We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely, reviewing developments and the latest advice, and inform you of any additional steps we need to take. 

‘We’ll keep as many of our shops open for as long as possible, but you may see a change in our opening hours and range as we respond to this ever-changing landscape.

‘We’ve overcome various challenges over the last 80 years, and as has been said by our government, we will do whatever it takes to get through this crisis together.’

The latest announcement comes after McDonald’s said all emergency services personnel and health and social workers in the UK would be able to collect free drinks at all restaurants while Government guidance allows them to stay open.

The chain’s restaurants are to become takeaways, drive-thrus and delivery operations as the company attempts to cope with the outbreak.

This morning, the official Pret Twitter account said hot drinks would be ‘on the house’ for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, and discounts are being offered on food.

In a tweet, Pret said: Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we’ll take 50% off everything else. Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you’

McDonald’s said all emergency services personnel and health and social workers in the UK would be able to collect free drinks at all restaurants while Government guidance allows them to stay open (a McDonald’s in Liverpool today)

While the Co-op is to provide free lunches for all students who normally receive government-funded free school meals at its 25 academies, if they are required to close because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a tweet, Pret said: Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we’ll take 50% off everything else.

‘Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you.’

Pret chief executive officer Pano Christou said it was important to ‘show solidarity and stand by each other in this difficult time’ as he announced the discounts.

He said: ‘The teams on the frontline of the NHS are doing an extraordinary job and deserve all our support through this crisis.

‘Hopefully this small step helps brighten their day.’ 

Starbucks coffee chain have also committed to giving free filter coffee to NHS, council and emergency services staff in support of their ‘courage, commitment and resilience.’

The company announced it will also be moving to a new ‘to go’ only model across its UK outlets – closing cafe and patio seating, but maintaining Mobile Order & Pay, Drive Thru and delivery services.  

Bakery chain, PAUL, is also offering all NHS workers free takeaway coffee and tea. 

WHSmith also said it would be doubling the NHS staff discount on food and drinks to 20% in all its hospital stores from Thursday.

A spokeswoman said: ‘We are hugely grateful for the exceptional efforts and commitment of our NHS staff in these unprecedented times.’

The Butcher’s Hook Gastropub at Stamford Bridge in London is also offering 20 per cent off for all NHS staff. 

The Butcher’s Hook Gastropub at Stamford Bridge in London is offering 20 per cent off for NHS Staff

Two Co-op Academy schools are closing on Thursday as students, families and staff self-isolate.

The Co-op called on the Government to lead a nationwide effort to help feed the 1.4 million students who receive free school meals across the UK.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Retail, said: ‘For many children who receive free school meals, lunch at school is the main meal of the day, so if school closes unexpectedly they could go hungry.

‘We don’t think that’s fair on our students or their families who often struggle to keep food on the table, and it has an impact on the health and well-being of vulnerable families.

‘So we’re making sure the students attending our 25 Co-op Academies won’t miss out, but we know this is a drop in the ocean when you consider there are 1.4 million kids on free school meals in this country.’

The Co-op will provide all students receiving free school meals at its 25 Co-op Academy schools, located in the north of England, with a £20 voucher to spend in Co-op food stores, saying it was enough to cover a one-week unplanned closure.

The move affects around 6,500 students.

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