Costa Coffee has followed rival Pret A Manger in raising pay for its British store staff for the third time in a year.
The coffee and sandwich chain, a unit of Coca-Cola Co KO.N, said on Monday that more than 16,000 workers across its 1,520 company-owned stores, will get a rise of between 6.1% and 7.3% from April 1.
It said base pay rates for baristas will increase from 10 pounds ($12.02) an hour to at least 10.70 pounds an hour, whilst more experienced “Barista Maestros” will see an uplift from 10.53 pounds to at least 11.23 pounds per hour, depending on location and role.
The UK government-mandated National Living Wage will rise to 10.42 pounds an hour from April, an increase of 9.7%.
Costa Coffee said its latest rise takes the increase over the last 12 months to over 14%. UK inflation was 10.1% in January.
The Bank of England is watching pay settlements closely as it weighs further rises in interest rates.
Costa Coffee said it wanted to support its workforce in “uncertain times”.
But the latest rise also likely reflects Britain’s still tight labour market. Data last month showed that despite being on the brink of recession, the country’s jobless rate held close to five-decade lows and employment grew.
Rival Pret announced another pay rise for its staff last week, while food retailers TescoTSCO.L, Asda and Marks & SpencerMKS.L have also all recently announced increases.
Costa Coffee said it also provides workers with a store performance related bonus, free drinks while on shift and a 50% staff discount.