A WELL-KNOWN cafe chain is giving its employees a pay rise of up to 7.3 per cent.

Costa Coffee, which has 14 cafes and concessions across York, including outlets in Parliament Street, Museum Street, Blossom Street and Wigginton Road is giving all its 16,000 UK employees the pay bump.

It's the third time in a year the chain, which is owned by Coca-Cola Co (KO.N), has raised wages which will go up between 6.1 per cent and 7.3 per cent from April 1.

It said base pay rates for baristas will increase from £10 an hour to at least £10.70 an hour, whilst more experienced "barista maestros" will see an uplift from £10.53 to at least £11.23 pounds per hour.

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Founded in London by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, Costa Coffee has cafes in 45 countries around the world, with more than 2,800 coffee shops in the UK & Ireland and more than 1,100 globally.

In 2011, Costa Coffee purchased Coffee Nation, which is now Costa Express.

It follows an announcement by rival Pret A Manger last week that it would increase the base salaries of its workers from the start of next month by 2.9 per cent, from £10.30 an hour to £10.60 an hour.

The moves come ahead of a 9.7 per cent increase in the national living wage – the law stating the minimum amount that companies are allowed to pay people over 23 – to £10.42 an hour on April 1.

Costa said it has increased salaries in April and October last year.

UK inflation stands at 10.1 per cent, down only slightly from a peak of 11.1 per cent last October, following surging energy and food bills, with the cost of living having soared across the board over the past year.

Nick Orrin, Costa’s interim UK and Ireland managing director, said: “We continue to live in uncertain times, but we are passionate about putting our teams and communities first.”