Costa Coffee has unveiled plans to hike salaries for more than 16,000 UK workers as it became the latest firm to increase pay ahead of the minimum wage increase.
The coffee chain, which is owned by the Coca-Cola Company, said it will raise the base rate of pay for workers across its 1,520 company-owned stores in the UK from £10 an hour to £10.70 an hour from April 1.
More experienced baristas will see their base pay rise from £10.53 to at least £11.23 an hour, depending on location and role.
It follows an announcement by rival Pret A Manger last week that it would increase the base salaries of its workers from the start of next month by 2.9%, from £10.30 an hour to £10.60 an hour.
The moves come ahead of a 9.7% increase in the national living wage – the law stating the minimum amount that companies are allowed to pay people over 23 – to £10.42 an hour on April 1.
Costa said it has increased salaries in April and October last year, which has seen its base rate increase by more than 14% from £9.36 to £10.70 an hour.
UK inflation stands at 10.1%, down only slightly from a peak of 11.1% last October, following surging energy and food bills, with the cost of living having soared across the board over the past year.
Nick Orrin, Costa’s interim UK and Ireland managing director, said: “We continue to live in uncertain times, but we are passionate about putting our teams and communities first.”
It will offer staff who complete an introductory training programme an extra 20p an hour on top of the new base rate, with its more experienced baristas – Barista Maestros – seeing a boost of 50p an hour.
Costa said this means three-quarters of its staff will be on at least £10.90 per hour from April.
It also offers extra benefits, such as a cash bonus linked to the performance of individual stores, plus free drinks on shift and a staff menu discount of between 25% to 50%.