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Sandwiches worth more than gran? Pret founder blasted (by own company!) for saying lockdown pointless to save 'old & vulnerable'

Sandwiches worth more than gran? Pret founder blasted (by own company!) for saying lockdown pointless to save 'old & vulnerable'
Founder of the ‘Pret a Manger’ sandwich shop chain Julian Metcalfe urged the UK government not to introduce another lockdown to save a “few thousand lives,” prompting a backlash so overwhelming that even his own company joined in.

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.”

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.

“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.

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.

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