Living Ventures Ltd

Hidden mission statement
http://livingventures.com/

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

Officially a Global*
Good Company
to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For
Globally*

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

STEPHEN COLDBECK, ACCLAIMED as Liverpool's best waiter in 2010, says of Living Ventures: “I've worked in lots of companies, but the training here blows everything else out of the water. It's one thing to have a brilliant concept, a beautifully designed restaurant, but without properly trained staff, that all falls apart.” The training at this successful restaurant company and bar-operator based in Cheshire, with restaurants in Manchester, London and across the northwest, is intensive. Each member of staff is expected to learn the company ethos verbatim, including such intriguing concepts as “small world”, “ticket to ride” and “the bubble-bath dilemma”. In practice, Coldbeck says, these ideas “make a lot of sense. They help people focus. It's good to sit people down and make them think these thoughts.” Liz Sear, now an assistant general manager at the Grill on the Alley in Manchester, underwent the management training scheme after graduating from Leeds University four years ago. She spent a year studying every aspect of the business. She also needed to be able to cook every dish on the menu. “I have to know exactly what ingredient goes into every dish,” she says. In an emergency, she explains, she could take over the role of chef. When Sear took her job, the company told her: “Your next move is general manager.” It meant she could see a clear path ahead. Staff believe that the job is of great benefit (81% positive, a top-five ranking). They also feel it is good for their own development (83%) and that there are unlimited opportunities to learn and grow within the organisation (74%). Their boss, Tim Bacon, managing director and co-founder, began as a bartender for TGI Friday's, a fellow Best Company to Work For. Bacon likes to “hire hard, fire easy”, and has high standards for those he employs. “Never employ someone you wouldn't go for a drink with,” he says. One current operations manager started as a waitress. Bacon poached from a rival company. How? “We offered her a future, with a winning smile,” he laughs. Although the average wage for waiters is £17,000, when you add the generous tips it becomes an attractive proposition. Staff feel they are paid fairly for the work they do, compared with colleagues (72%), as well as with elsewhere in the industry (70%). They also feel that they receive fair pay for the duties they undertake (70%). Perks include employees and their guests being able to dine for half price in all Living Ventures eateries. Colleagues feel a strong sense of family (83%). Coldbeck agrees that “the teams are very tight” and says that staff retention is impressive for the industry, adding that Living Ventures is “very good at bringing people on board who care, and does things right”.

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

95% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

At the annual head office party, awards are given to the winning unit for the following categories: Best Sales, Best Mystery Diner Score, Head Chef of the Year, General Manager of the Year, Best Training Unit, Ten Years' Service. The awards are recognised with an inscription on a cup, a cash prize and are announced to the whole company. The awards promote healthy competition and recognise outstanding performance.

My Manager

91% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of my manager

Every summer a themed party is held for Senior Managers and Head Office Staff. Fancy dress is essential and accommodation and breakfast is provided for all. In July 2012, the company hosted a Prehistoric Party with campfires, dinosaurs, a free bar, a hog roast buffet, live music, fire breathers, a live band and a DJ.

Leadership

91% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

Living Ventures Ltd's training is compulsory for ALL employees, no matter what their previous experience or qualifications are. Every member of staff undertakes at least 2 weeks training alongside a dedicated In Store Trainer. All Managers undertake a 10 week training period with departmental rotation before running a solo shift. The company also operates succession planning where the preference for internal promotion is paramount.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

List Positions

National Ranking
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Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
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9
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9
Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
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9
Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
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