How retail changed my life: Pano Christou – from flipping burgers to running Pret

Pano Christou 1

There was something slightly different about Pano Christou’s closing address at his first company conference as Pret a Manger chief executive.

His predecessor, Clive Schlee, usually had the last word on such occasions, but last November Christou instead offered that opportunity to one of his young employees, Isaac Alleyne. 

The then-16-year-old had been inspired to join Pret by Christou himself, following a talk he had given to Year 11 students at his former school, Ernest Bevin in Tooting, London.

After leaving school, Alleyne joined Pret’s apprenticeship programme at one of its stores in Wandsworth and soon set about sharing his bold ambitions to follow in Christou’s footsteps and become Pret’s next CEO.


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