Sandwiches worth more than gran? Pret founder blasted (by own company!) for saying lockdown pointless to save 'old & vulnerable'
Metcalfe, who sold his stake at Pret in 2018, told the Daily Mail on Wednesday he thought the UK should not go into another lockdown. “Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people,“ he said.
Covid-19 has killed more than 58,000 people in the UK so far, and the businessman’s words triggered an avalanche of condemnation. Pret was among the first to weigh in, rushing to disavow its founder on the chain’s official Twitter account.
“[Metcalfe] has not run the business for over ten years and we do not agree with his opinion,” the franchise chain tweeted, adding that Pret believes in “taking steps to stop the spread of the virus.”
We are aware of Julian Metcalfe’s comments this morning, but he has not run the business for over ten years and we do not agree with his opinion. We at Pret strongly believe we must take steps to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections— Pret (@Pret) October 29, 2020
The online outrage mob didn’t seem interested in the current status of the company’s corporate structure, however, thinking that Metcalfe was a majority shareholder and urging consumers to boycott the chain.
Smart choice of words, he may not run the business but he still owns a majority share... sooooo #boycottPret— Kye 🏳️🌈 🔞 (@notmywiener) October 29, 2020
Oh dear, a "Ratner" moment I think. I really like Pret but, as I'm 68, I won't be going in again, EVER. 👇🏻 https://t.co/SK8jpkNZSp— Spooky #3.5% #Resist 🔶️🕯🐟 😷 (@Spookella) October 29, 2020
Pret and Itsu can now join Wetherspoons and many others on the list of "don't give these companies your money"I feel sorry for whoever is running the Twitter account of @Pret today pic.twitter.com/OJVE8mwa5m— Barry (@angrybarry) October 29, 2020
“Daddy, why do we need to kill Granny to save Pret?” read one gallows humor tweet, while another user euphemistically suggested Metcalfe “retrain in cyber” for a more sustainable income during lockdown.
Has Julian Metcalfe of Pret considered retraining in cyber? pic.twitter.com/acUfwvlNBP— John Dorney (@MrJohnDorney) October 29, 2020
Meanwhile, Pret’s Twitter account was doing frantic damage control, responding to individual users to let them know Metcalfe was no longer part of the company.
Julian does not have any shares in Pret, nor any affiliation with the company, which has been the case for many years now.— Pret (@Pret) October 29, 2020
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