Greggs staff savour £300 bonus as vegan sausage rolls broaden its appeal

Greggs in Upper Brook Street Picture: JUDY RIMMER

Greggs in Upper Brook Street Picture: JUDY RIMMER - Credit: Archant

Staff at Greggs’ seven Ipswich stores are set to share in a slice of a £7m windfall to celebrate the bakery chain’s rising fortunes.

Greggs' vegan sausage roll. Picture: Greggs

Greggs' vegan sausage roll. Picture: Greggs - Credit: Greggs

The phenomenal success of the retailer's vegan sausage roll has set the firm on a roll - with more vegan products launched including a vegan steak bake, and a vegan doughnut.

Its 19,000 employees who have been with the firm since before March 31, 2019, will get £300 each, while the remaining 6,000 staff members will be paid £75 per quarter they have worked for the baker. The bonus will be made at the end of January.

MORE - Morrisons fail to hit festive targets after opting out of Black FridayThe company's underlying pre-tax profit, even with the payout to staff, is set to be ahead of expectations when it announces the 2019 results in March and sales are up 13.5%.

"I am delighted to announce that we will also be making a special additional payment to all of our colleagues across the business who have worked so hard to deliver this success in what has been a phenomenal year," said chain boss Roger Whiteside.

Last year's launch of Greggs' vegan sausage roll extended the chain's appeal to a new audience - as well as pushing up sales.

It has promised to keep evolving to cater to other diets.

Greggs opened 138 new shops, while closing 41, over the year, bringing its total to 2,050 across the UK. It has seven stores across Ipswich - at Westgate Street, Upper Brook Street, Ipswich station, Rosehill, Woodbridge Road East, Whitehouse Road and Martlesham Heath.

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It now plans to add a further 100 stores across the UK throughout 2020.

Sales grew 13.5%, compared to 7.2% growth in 2018. Like-for-like sales, which strips out the effect of shop openings and closures, were up 9.2%.

But the company faces challenges in the year ahead - including the increase in the national minimum wage.

"Looking to the year ahead, we face strong sales comparatives and cost inflation headwinds present a challenge," said Mr Whiteside.

In October, Greggs said it was stockpiling key ingredients, such as pork, ahead of Brexit.