An anonymous waitress and supervisor told the Star that managers are under pressure from senior bosses to cut the number of shifts since the minimum wage increased to £7.20 per hour last month.
The waitress, who tweets about her work as @Pizzaxpres_Pleb, said her manager “was very open about this being the reason” and that Pizza Express staff in London, the Midlands and on the south coast agree.
She said: “It has not been confirmed by head office or the area managers, they would never confess to that. But the timing directly coincides with the wage increase and the cuts are widespread.”
Salaried managers are filling shifts taken from supervisors and waiting staff but without extra pay, she said. Remaining waiting staff are overstretched and struggling to cope during busy periods.
The waitress said that, while she was away from work, she was told she would have no more shifts and that she would be kept on a casual basis.
She also said that her contracted hours had previously been changed in front of her “more than once” to reflect weekly budgets.
She added: “I may as well be a zero hours contract. I do not pretend that I am hit hardest by this. Those who are struggling with their bills have it worse.”
A waiter who she spoke to who worked for Pizza Express for 12 years said he felt scared after his hours were cut — but he cannot take a second job because the company “very rarely” allows people to work on set days.
Pizza Express was unavailable to comment.
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