Scotland’s iconic roadside café named as one of the Top 30 ‘Best Places to Work in Hospitality 2023’

Sarah Heward - Owner, The Real Food Cafe

SCOTLAND’S iconic roadside cafe, The Real Food Café in Tyndrum has received a top 30 listing in the UK’s most prestigious hospitality employment awards.

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

Companies are recommended by their employees who answer four ‘killer questions’ and share what’s important to them at work and rate well their employer is delivering on that goal.  The business received an exceptional score of 92% in response to those questions.

The Real Food Café received a place in the Top 30 for the following reasons:

  • Culture – the businesses maintains an inclusive culture based on trust, honesty and open communication. The business holds regular culture meetings to discuss how things are working and to address issues that have arisen.
  • Listening – the business engages its team through periodic anonymous feedback surveys, following up with planned action on the back of the team’s input.
  • The Real Food Café has been a Living Wage employer since 2019; they reward well for exceeding expectations. In 2022 the business paid £24,500 in bonuses to 25 staff.
  • They offer comprehensive benefits including, but not limited to an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) and access to a national discounts platform to help their team’s income go further. 
  • The business is actively engaged in learning and development journeys for the team, all of whom receive an annual Personal Development Review with a follow up mid-way through the year.

Sarah Heward, Owner of The Real Food Café, said:

‘’The Real Food Café has won some very prestigious awards for our food, customer service and overall business, all of which we are proud of. For almost 20 years, we have been driven not only by our mission to serve customers great food of the highest standard, but our vision of becoming one of the best employer brands in Scotland.  We have worked hard to build our reputation by taking care of our team, suppliers and focussing on authenticity; being kind, working hard and building a strong culture of warmth, friendliness and inclusivity.”

“This award is solely focused on our team and the leadership of that team and this win is for my husband Alan McColm who leads the people side of the business and his management team headed up by Charles Mair our Operations Director.”

“I am bursting with pride that our team have validated his strategy and the consistent and sometimes challenging work he has led over the past decade to reach this point. The journey will continue, we are a work in progress but for now, we’ll take this as a win and enjoy the moment.”

“Sadly, hospitality generally has a poor reputation as an employer which is a significant disadvantage to the sector particularly in a very tight labour market.  Initiatives like this from The Caterer are great because they help highlight that there are some companies doing exceptional work and which are great places to work in our wonderful industry.’’

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