…By Larry John for TDPel Media.
Greggs, the popular bakery chain, has reached an agreement with Westminster City Council regarding the range of products it can sell in the early hours of the morning in central London.
The agreement comes just before the scheduled three-day court hearing, which has now been called off following the resolution.
Compromise on Product Offering
Roisin Currie, the boss of Greggs, confirmed that a compromise had been reached with Westminster Council.
While the bakery can continue to sell sandwiches and sweet products late at night, there have been discussions with the council about the items permissible for sale during the later hours.
Currie expressed satisfaction with the positive collaboration between Greggs and the council throughout the process.
Permitted Selling Hours and Conditions
Under the agreement, Greggs will be permitted to sell hot drinks and some hot food until midnight from Sunday to Wednesday, and until 2 am from Thursday to Saturday.
The license is subject to specific conditions, including the installation of CCTV, the presence of door supervisors, and the responsibility to maintain cleanliness around the premises.
Support from Westminster Council
Aicha Less, the deputy council leader, stated that Westminster had reached an agreement that satisfies both parties.
She expressed the council’s commitment to supporting local businesses and anticipated a continued positive relationship with Greggs in the future.
Concerns and Opposition
The Metropolitan Police, Environmental Health, three local Westminster councillors, and one resident had raised concerns about Greggs’ plans to sell hot food and drinks late into the night on weekends.
The Met expressed concerns about the potential impact on crime and disorder.
Greggs argued that limiting their menu availability could confuse customers and potentially lead to trouble.
The bakery had offered to employ security guards equipped with body cameras for safety, but the request was denied.
Background and Sales Growth
Prior to the agreement, Westminster Council had rejected Greggs’ application on policy grounds, stating that exceptional reasons were not provided to demonstrate a lack of negative impact on the West End, especially considering the cumulative impact zone.
Meanwhile, Greggs has experienced a sales growth of 17.1% in the first 19 weeks of 2023, attributed to price-sensitive customers seeking affordable meal options.
The bakery has also expanded its range of meat-free products, including the new Vegan Mexican Chicken-Free Bake.
Looking ahead, Greggs aims to expand its presence in UK airports, with new stores set to open in Glasgow, Cardiff, and Gatwick.
Additionally, the company has recently opened a new store in Canary Wharf and has plans to open a branch in Moorgate, catering to customers in these areas.