Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

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97
Best Company to work for in the UK
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th
Best Company
to work for

RESTAURATEURS CHRIS CORBIN and Jeremy King, the celebrated pair behind some of London's most iconic dining rooms — the Wolseley and the Delaunay among them, as well the Beaumont, Mayfair's newest five-star and their first hotel — run a tight ship. “Neither Chris nor myself will allow shouty kitchens,” says King, whose first restaurant group with Corbin included the Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheekey. Referring to his 871-strong team, he adds: “One of the things that spurred me on in looking after staff is becoming a parent, because every single one of these people is somebody's daughter or somebody's son.” With further expansion planned, opportunities for development and promotion are implicit for ambitious Corbin & King staff. Kate Fowler, assistant restaurant manager at Brasserie Zédel, off Piccadilly Circus, started in April last year as floor manager and was promoted after six months. Her career aspirations were investigated “from day one,” she says, and “they still endeavour to find out what your career path is”. For chefs, a job in a Corbin & King kitchen is a passport to success, according to Malachi O'Gallagher, head chef at the Delaunay. “You do a couple of years working for Chris and Jeremy and you'll walk into any job.” His sous chefs learn management skills such as profit-and-loss statements and costings. “So after a couple of years they're perfectly capable of running any kitchen. The company's famous for it in the industry.” Staff give Corbin & King's training its top-ranked score of 73% positive, ranked 23rd on our list, saying it is greatly beneficial. Jobs here are considered good for personal growth (81%) and the experience staff get is valuable for their future (82%). King describes himself and Corbin as restaurateurs, rather the restaurant owners, because they roll up their sleeves and muck in. Employees are introduced to their hands-on leadership at inductions, which are attended by one or other of them. King says. “It's really important. It hopefully sets out our stall that we are approachable.” For Fowler, seeing the company's leaders regularly is a boost. “Having people like Chris and Jeremy on the site all the time and there to advise and guide you is incredibly reassuring,” she says. Fowler is not alone in being inspired by her bosses: this measure scores 79% in our survey, ranked 24th. Benefits include a 30% employee discount at Corbin & King venues, free staff meals and drinks, and shoes for chefs. Everyone gets a book on their birthday. Supplier trips are the pick of the perks, however. Fowler visited crème de cassis maker Briottet in Dijon as a thank-you for excellent work. She stopped in Paris as part of her three-day trip, visited the Briottet distillery, where she “tried every single one of their liqueurs”, and was given four bottles to take home. Employees feel proud to work at Corbin & King (83%, a top-50 result), whose company name changed from Rex Restaurants in January last year after a vote by senior managers. “We all chose Corbin & King, it was where we wanted to be,” says O'Gallagher. www.corbinandking.com

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

91% of staff agreed

I believe I can make a valuable contribution to the success of this organisation

Employee development is supported through Paid Training Active Succession planning, in which 4 out of the 5 general managers and 3 out of the 5 head chefs have worked their way up through the ranks to these senior positions. They have a rising stars initiative where they develop and train individuals at junior level who have been identified as having the potential to grow into their future managers. 60 senior and middle managers have completed an inventory of individual work attitude, motivation and behaviours assessment and as a result have then had a personal development and training plan specifically designed around their needs and skills shortages. From this process around 20 management development training modules have been drafted and are open to all people within the organisation, regardless of their position level. There are training journeys in place for each and every position level in the business with a series of core and developmental training modules which act as steps on the ladder to their next promotion. Such courses are run with sufficient frequency on the monthly training calendar so that everyone can take their journey at their own pace.

Personal Growth

91% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

Employee development is supported through Paid Training Active Succession planning, in which 4 out of the 5 general managers and 3 out of the 5 head chefs have worked their way up through the ranks to these senior positions. They have a rising stars initiative where they develop and train individuals at junior level who have been identified as having the potential to grow into their future managers. 60 senior and middle managers have completed an inventory of individual work attitude, motivation and behaviours assessment and as a result have then had a personal development and training plan specifically designed around their needs and skills shortages. From this process around 20 management development training modules have been drafted and are open to all people within the organisation, regardless of their position level. There are training journeys in place for each and every position level in the business with a series of core and developmental training modules which act as steps on the ladder to their next promotion. Such courses are run with sufficient frequency on the monthly training calendar so that everyone can take their journey at their own pace.

Leadership

88% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

The organisation seeks to reward employees through supplier and cultural trips on an annual basis where approximately 160 staff have the opportunity to go on overseas trips to places such as France, The Netherlands, Italy and The Czech Republic, to meet at first hand the producers of the food and beverages that they prepare and serve in the restaurants and hotels. This is a highly prized reward and has numerous benefits: it feeds the passion their staff have for their product; it increases their product knowledge; it engages them in a relaxed and social environment with other staff from other locations that they perhaps do not know; allows them to learn from each other; fosters friendships and team spirit and it creates opportunities for career advancement, exposing staff to possibilities in the other restaurants. The trips are highly prized. Staff are nominated by their Heads of Department and decisions on the final nominations are made by the Directors.

Benefits

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List Positions

National Ranking
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97
Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
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97
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97
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