Employees agree – it’s really good to work at The Real Food Café

Tyndrum roadside eatery, The Real Food Café has, for the second year running, been named as one of the UK’s Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality.

The restaurant was placed at number 23 on the list, up from 24 last year, and is one of only two Scottish establishments to feature – the other being The Gleneagles Hotel, which is placed in the top 6.

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

Now in their tenth year, the awards celebrate employment best practice, with the Top 30 list 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. No less than 12,000 hospitality employees across the UK took part in this year’s survey.

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

Key factors said to have contributed to The Real Food Café’s top 30 ranking includes its inclusivity – 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.

Through anonymous surveys, the café actively seeks and responds to its team’s feedback, demonstrating its commitment to listening and continuous improvement.

As a Living Wage employer since 2019, The Real Food Café also rewards its staff generously, with almost £40k in bonuses distributed among 28 employees in 2023 alone.

Employees enjoy a range of benefits, including access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and a national discounts platform, while 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, Sarah Heward, said: “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.

“As we continue to grow and evolve as a company, we remain committed to maintaining our high standard of excellence in employee satisfaction,” said Heward. “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.”