Greggs staff to share £17.6m bonus as chain becomes UK’s top breakfast take-out

Greggs has warned that inflationary pressures will make its sausage rolls more expensive and curtail profits this year, even as the bakery chain toasted record results.

Greggs, the popular bakery chain known for its sausage rolls and steak bakes, is set to distribute a £17.6 million bonus among its staff this month, following a record annual profit announcement. With a 27% surge in profits to £188 million, Greggs has surpassed McDonald’s to become the UK’s top breakfast takeaway spot.

Around 25,000 employees out of the total 32,000 across the UK will benefit from the bonus under a profit-sharing agreement, with each employee’s share varying based on their service tenure and working hours. For instance, an employee working 22 hours per week with six years of service will receive £765.

Despite facing cost inflation of 4% to 5% this year, primarily due to wage increases, Greggs has announced no further price rises for the year ahead. The company implemented modest price increases on some items in December but kept prices stable for popular items like sausage rolls and vegan sausage rolls.

Roisin Currie, Greggs’ chief executive, highlighted the company’s success in becoming the UK’s leading breakfast takeaway provider, capturing 19.6% of visits. This achievement was attributed to menu expansions, including the addition of bacon rolls, and adjustments to opening hours, which now start as early as 5am.

While Greggs aims to expand its presence further, particularly in the evening market, it remains focused on maintaining its strong position in the breakfast segment. The company witnessed a record-high full-day market share, with its share of food-to-go visits reaching 8.2%.

Greggs also reported growth in like-for-like sales, increased pre-tax profit, and raised its dividend payout to shareholders. Its success is attributed to menu innovation, expansion of delivery services, and strategic store openings, including partnerships with retailers like Primark, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s.

Looking ahead, Greggs plans to open up to 160 net new shops this year, aiming for more than 3,000 UK stores in the long term. Additionally, the increase in the national minimum wage is expected to further boost consumer spending, contributing to the company’s continued success.