Pret a Manger is increasing staff wages in what it has called its biggest ever pay increase, as labour shortages force up wages across the hospitality and retail industries.

The sandwich chain said it wanted to invest in its staff as it recovered from the coronavirus pandemic which has battered its business.

It is the second time it has raised pay since September and comes as employers face a widespread worker shortage.

The sandwich chain, which has 550 shops around the world, said its basic pay rates would increase from between £9.40 and £9.56 to between £9.80 and £10.15 per hour, with baristas being paid more.

In a £9.2 million investment, more than 85% of staff will receive at least £10 per hour while the coffee chain’s mystery shopper bonus will increase 25 per cent to £1.25 per hour.

The company said it wanted to recognise the resilience and hard work of its store staff throughout the pandemic.