AN EX-GREGGS employee has revealed what it’s really like to work for the UK’s biggest bakery chain – and it’s not always rock and (sausage) roll.
From a huge staff discount to wince-inducingly early starts, it sounds like the job comes with a lot of pastry perks, as well as its crusty challenges.
Alamy A Greggs insider has shared what it’s like to work for the chain (model pictured)
The baker turned journalist, Jonathan Coles, revealed on Somerset Live that you can tell its famous pastry bakes apart just by looking at the pattern on top.
And you might be surprised to hear that staff are very careful when it comes to food hygiene as each pastry is closely monitored to make sure it’s hot enough.
Mr Coles worked at different branches for six years, and said that he loved his friendly colleagues and the amazing 50 per cent off staff discount.
But he added that he doesn’t miss the 4am start-times, or the amount of food waste left over at the end of a working day.
Here’s what he had to say about working for the chain, which has 1,850 branches in the UK.
Huge staff discount
Alamy Sausage rolls cost less than 50p if you have a staff discount
Greggs workers get an amazing 50 per cent off all products, Mr Coles revealed.
That means a sausage roll could be yours for just 45p instead of 90p if you don an apron and get behind the counter.
Mr Coles said: “After nearly six years, I was still more than happy to bite into a heavily discounted sausage roll on my break.
“At less than 50p a go, it was almost rude not to.”Pastry patterns
Each bake has a different pattern on the top of the pastry, says Mr Coles.
That’s so staff can easily identify which bake is which, apparently.
Our insider revealed that a sausage and bean melt will always have straight, horizontal stripes on top.
Meanwhile, a steak bake always has diagonal stripes.
Bakers have traditionally always been early risers and it’s no exception at Greggs.
Mr Coles said he once worked at a branch on an industrial estate where his start-time was 4am.
On the bright side, he said the time would fly by because the shop would always be so busy.
Alamy Behind the counter: an insider reveals all
The Greggs uniform – which has changed over the years – is now a red cap, black polo shirt and red apron.
It’s not exactly fashionable.
Mr Coles said even though it wasn’t very flattering, the outfit was practical.
His apron would be covered in baking grease, pastry crumbs and food spills by the end of a shift.Food waste
Sadly, a lot of food gets thrown away after a busy working day at Greggs, according to Mr Coles.
But he says some branches work with local charities which collect leftover food and take it to people in need.
Apparently, Greggs are hot on food safety, according to Mr Coles.
Staff are regularly sent on refresher hygiene courses and all food is monitored to make sure it’s safe to go on sale.
Workers use a thermometer to make sure the food is at the right temperature.
If it’s not, it’s chucked in the bin.
Anyone working in customer service will be moaned at from time to time.
Mr Coles said the most common complaint was that the food wasn’t hot enough.
“Despite your best efforts to keep products warm, some people are never happy,” he said.
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We’ve asked Greggs for comment and we will update this article if we hear back.
You can find your nearest branch using Greggs’ online shop finder tool.
Tesco has started doing a version of Greggs’ vegan sausage roll – and it’s cheaper.
Greggs launched its meat-free roll in January and it sent the nation into a frenzy.
Greggs made a billion pounds in 2018 and Chief Exec Roger Whiteside says the vegan sausage roll has helped 2019 get off to a banger
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