The Real Food Café named in the UK’s Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality for Second Consecutive Year

The Real Food Café named in the UK’s Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality for Second Consecutive Year

The Real Food Café, Scotland’s iconic roadside eatery, has once again been recognised as one of the UK’s Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality for 2024, marking the second year in a row the café has received the prestigious accolade. 

The restaurant was placed at number 23 on the list, up from 24 last year.

Sarah Heward, the owner of the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum holding a certificate for Top30 employers in hospitality in the UK

Notably, it stands as one of only two Scottish hospitality businesses to grace the list, a testament to its exceptional workplace culture and commitment to employee satisfaction.  The Gleneagles Hotel was placed in the top 6.

Organised by The Caterer magazine, the ‘Best Places to Work in Hospitality’ awards identify and showcase the Top 30 operators who lead the way in people engagement and workplace culture.

Now in their tenth year, the awards are a celebration of employment best practice, with the Top 30 shining a spotlight on the organisations that are delivering on what really matters to employees, as well as checking engagement levels and identifying the key areas for retaining employees.

The top 30 list is compiled from employee questionnaires with five ‘killer’ questions which identify what’s important to them at work and how well their employer is delivering on that goal. 12,000 hospitality employees across the UK took part this year.

 The Real Food Café achieved an impressive 89% satisfaction score, 1% up on last year’s score with employee participation at 79%, up on last year’s 69%.

Key factors contributing to The Real Food Café’s top 30 ranking include:

  • Inclusive Culture: The café champions an environment of trust, honesty, and open communication, holding regular culture sessions to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of its team.
  • Employee Feedback: Through anonymous surveys, the café actively seeks and responds to its team’s feedback, demonstrating a genuine commitment to listening and continuous improvement.
  • Fair Compensation: As a Living Wage employer since 2019, The Real Food Café rewards its staff generously, with almost £40k in bonuses distributed among 28 employees in 2023 alone.
  • Comprehensive Benefits: Employees enjoy a range of benefits, including access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and a national discounts platform.
  • Personal Development: The business invests in the learning and development of its team, ensuring everyone receives an annual Personal Development Review.

Sarah Heward, Co-Owner of The Real Food Café, expressed her pride in the achievement, “We are thrilled and immensely proud to be recognised as one of the Top 30 Best Employers in Hospitality in the UK, achieving number 23 on the list. This accolade is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering an environment rooted in authenticity, kindness and inclusivity.

"In a time where the hospitality sector faces significant challenges in recruitment and retention, this award underscores the importance of building a strong employer brand that resonates with our core values as a business and the wellbeing of our team. It's a celebration of our collective effort to create a workplace where everyone feels valued, supported and inspired.

We also commend The Caterer for highlighting the positive developments within our industry, encouraging a shift towards more supportive and inclusive employment practices across the board."

As we continue to grow and evolve as a company, we remain committed to maintaining our high standard of excellence in employee satisfaction. Our team is the heart and soul of The Real Food Café, and we understand that their happiness, wellbeing and job satisfaction directly impacts the success of our business. We will continue to build a positive work culture where everyone feels respected and valued, regardless of their role or background in addition to our focus on serving our award-winning menu to the hundreds of thousands of customers who visit us each year.”