Coca-Cola-owned chain Costa Coffee is set to cut up to 1,650 jobs across its cafes to survive during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company has also reopened 2,400 of its 2,700 outlets in the UK after they were shut for a period of six weeks during the lockdown.

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It plans to reopen the remaining stores over the following month.

All Costa staff have received full pay and have been put on the government’s furlough job retention scheme. However, with the scheme expiry, the store has decided to remove the assistant store manager role across all shops to cut costs.

The company told media sources: “While trade is returning, helped by the government’s VAT reduction, which Costa passed on to customers in full, and the recent scheme, there remain high levels of uncertainty as to when the trade will recover to pre-Covid-19 levels.”

Costa Coffee seeks to find alternative roles for those whose jobs were at risk within the business where possible and provide support to those leaving the business.

The latest move comes after the company’s rival coffee shop chain Pret a Manger also cut approximately 2,900 jobs last week after its sales plummeted.

In July, Coca-Cola said its sales of tea and coffee had significantly fallen since March due to the temporary closures of almost all its Costa cafes in western Europe.

Costa Coffee UK and Ireland managing director Neil Lake said: “Today’s announcement to our store teams was an extremely difficult decision to make.

“We have had to make these difficult decisions to protect the business and ensure we safeguard as many jobs as possible for our 16,000 team members whilst emerging stronger ready for future growth.”