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Pret and McDonald’s give free hot drinks to NHS staff

The Pret chief executive officer said it was important to ‘show solidarity and stand by each other in this difficult time’.

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The closed off seating area inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Leicester (Joe Giddens/PA)

The closed off seating area inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Leicester (Joe Giddens/PA)

The closed off seating area inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Leicester (Joe Giddens/PA)

Food chains are offering free drinks and discounts to NHS staff amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

McDonald’s said all emergency services personnel and health and social workers in the UK would be able to collect free drinks at all restaurants while Government guidance allows them to stay open.

The chain’s restaurants are to become takeaways, drive-thrus and delivery operations as the company attempts to cope with the outbreak.

On Wednesday morning, the official Pret Twitter account said hot drinks would be “on the house” for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, and discounts are being offered on food.

“Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we’ll take 50% off everything else,” the tweet said.

“Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you.”

Pret chief executive officer Pano Christou said it was important to “show solidarity and stand by each other in this difficult time” as he announced the discounts.

He said: “The teams on the frontline of the NHS are doing an extraordinary job and deserve all our support through this crisis.

“Hopefully this small step helps brighten their day.”

Starbucks coffee chain have also committed to giving free filter coffee to NHS, council and emergency services staff in support of their “courage, commitment and resilience.”

The company announced it will also be moving to a new “to go” only model across its UK outlets – closing café and patio seating, but maintaining Mobile Order & Pay, Drive Thru and delivery services.

WHSmith also said it would be doubling the NHS staff discount on food and drinks to 20% in all its hospital stores from Thursday.

A spokeswoman said: “We are hugely grateful for the exceptional efforts and commitment of our NHS staff in these unprecedented times.”

PA