Why Greggs has been on a roll

Roger Whiteside has presided over the FTSE 250 chain's remarkable rise to Britain's Most Admired Company 2019 despite tough high street trading conditions.

by Andrew Saunders

It’s 10 o’clock on a weekday morning. The commuters have arrived at work by now and it’s too early for lunch, but still the line of punters at the Greggs on London’s Kingsway stretches out of the door. 

Shoppers, students, tourists, construction workers in hard hats and hi-vis jackets – all human life is here, and they’re all hungry. Greggs’ CEO Roger Whiteside eyes the throng, eager to buy anything from a sausage roll and a cup of tea to a fruit pot and a flat white, with ill-concealed delight. 

"Look at the queue! There’s always a big queue here," he says, flashing a broad smile, before we head behind the counter, through the kitchen area (Greggs prepares much of its food on the premises) to a room away from the crowd where it is quiet enough to talk.

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