Greggs worker spills secrets of job and says free sausage rolls aren’t worth it
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Most of us love heading to Greggs for a cheeky sausage roll or steak bake every now and again.
But have you ever wondered what it's like to work there?
Well wonder no more, as one former Greggs worker has spilled the beans on what the job entails – and it doesn't sounds fun.
Writing for Grimsby Live, Christian Brayford dished the dirt on life inside the famous bakery chain.
And he admitted that the free food and drinks you get for working there really aren't worth it.
Christian, who worked at the chain back in January 2020, says he was a shift leader – meaning he was in charge of cash handling, staff management, dealing with complaints, ordering stock, and banking at the end of the day.
Talking about the long hours, he said: "The working hours could be extremely demanding.
"You had to be there at 4am on some shifts, and usually you wouldn't leave until after 6pm or later.
"And when you arrived for work, it was absolutely freezing.
"It was probably colder outside the shop than it was in it – without the exaggeration."
Christian says this was back in the early hours of January, so says the morning were particularly 'icy and brisk'.
However, he claims you weren't allowed to wear a jumper and were instead provided with a Greggs hat, Greggs T-shirt, a kitchen apron and a hair net (all staff regardless of the length of their hair had to wear one).
Christian says you'd start the shift by putting the delivery away – saying that Greggs had two deliveries a day.
One of these would be in the morning and one in the afternoon.
"We would spend time on the delivery and preparing for breakfast – ensuring enough trays of bacon, sausage and omelette were prepared for the busiest part of the day," he said.
He also says this is when the bulk of the sandwiches were made – although you'd be in trouble if you made one wrong.
"There was a specific guide, or cooking matrix, which had to be followed to incredible detail when preparing a sandwich," he explained.
"It came down to the right amount of sauce, the right amount of vegetable and the right amount of protein or meat."
"If you went over by the slightest margin, you'd have to make the sandwich again."
Although making as sandwich wasn't as bad as a drink, according to Christian.
He said: "Drinks were always a nightmare, it would take what felt like an hour to prepare one when you had a queue so long and people getting very agitated for a sausage roll."
When it comes to customers, the ex Greggs worker said you get to see the same people everyday.
And although he said it's nice to connect with some people, other times there was big issues.
He explained: "When you had a man from Plymouth shouting in your face because you didn't have any milk chocolate cookies available or when Peter from York couldn't use a loyalty stamp that was out of date.
"I strongly sympathise and understand all customer service workers who go through similar things – but in different situations and environments – on a daily basis.
"It certainly made it harder to motivate yourself to get up in the morning."
Christian also called the close down 'a nightmare'.
"We would practice hygiene and cleaning throughout the day on a 'clean as you go basis' but the shear volume of closing down was insane," he said.
"It usually took over an hour to record the day's banking, ensure all food beyond its use by date had been thrown away, and to clean the entire place from top to bottom.
"I know it doesn't sound a lot, but it certainly felt like it after a demoralising shift of dealing with complaints, rudeness and a high demand for a cheese bake."
The free food did sweeten the job slightly though, according to Christian – who admits there was a lot of it.
"You'd be really surprised at how much food was wasted," he said.
"It was literally a tonne of pure sausage rolls and baguettes and sweets.
"Sometimes I'd walk out of the building with about four of five bags of food.
"It was great to see my family's face when I brought them something back."
Christian said his time at Greggs was short-lived as he worked there from the January to the March of 2020 when lockdown put a stop to his employment there.
He said he was asked to go back in August 2020, but 'kindly declined' the offer.
Reflecting on his experience, he said: "So looking back at it now, was it all really worth it? The kindest answer is no.
"Even by the time the first lockdown was imposed, I felt like a walking zombie.
"The long hours were particularly draining.
"Sometimes you'd be working five days on shift patterns of 14 hour days which can be demanding.
"The pay was hovering very close to the national minimum wage of around £8.40 at the time.
"But what really tipped me over the edge was the rudeness of customers."
Giving one final view, he added: "I loved the food, but I don't think the experience of working in a Greggs was all it is cracked up to be."
Daily Star has contacted Greggs for comment.
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