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

PizzaExpress, the restaurant chain that encourages the same loyalty in its staff as in its customers, says 'If someone leaves, then they'll be back in six months'. Just as every hand rolled pizza is slightly different, each restaurant has its own flavour and a variety of career paths open to staff. Loyalty is such that Sarah Levy found it can be hard to find a vacancy: now working as a waitress in PizzaExpress in Covent Garden, London, she looked in Edinburgh and three other branches before finding a gap. 'I want to work for a year while I am 26 and then go travelling and a friend recommended the chain' she said. 'But no one ever seems to leave, everyone has been working here for years but they welcomed me like a set of aunties and allowed me to fit in'. Other staff at the restaurant include Fernando Callixto and his brother, Antonio, both chefs. Fernando's wife is another member of the 'family' working as assistant manager in Fulham, while her sister works at the branch in the Aldwych. Peter Boizot opened his first PizzaExpress in Wardour Street, central London in 1965 after returning from Italy with flavours of crispy pizza and Frescobaldi wine fresh on his lips. His dream grew into a chain of mostly franchises, which went public in 1993.The franchises were subsequently bought back, however, and the company expanded. It now includes a wholesale business, 300 PizzaExpress and Cafe Pasta restaurants in the UK, Spain and Japan and franchises in another 15 countries. The firm has maintained its family owned feeling and growing sales have meant greater bonuses and the chance for staff that have performed well to buy shares. As the company has grown, ambitious staff have grown with it. David Page, chairman of the company, started two decades ago as a dishwasher at the Kingston upon Thames branch, while Nick Taylor, a new member of the board, created his own training and personnel department and is now a director. 'The company has always given me the chance to do what I enjoy and what I am good at', he said. Ian Elridge, the chief executive says the key is in finding what staff want. 'I visit a dozen restaurants a week and ask people what they really want to do, then nudge them to put their hands up and volunteer but equally, someone may be happy in the same place and that is fine too'. `Staff loyalty is encouraged with benefits that accrue with the years. Almost a quarter of staff have been at the firm for more than two years. Everyone has a Christmas hamper of champagne, wine, beer, chocolates and olive oil, costing the firm £50 and with a retail value of double this. There is free food from the menu and discounted health club entry.

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

68% of staff agreed

This job is good for my own personal growth

Regular fun and social events are organised to encourage employees and teams to interact. They hold an annual summer party, Christmas parties and regional sports days. They run various campaigns on topics such as global awareness where the team who have the most impact on energy use over a year is rewarded with a trip to Kenya. Team bonuses are also awarded for various challenges and targets. Regular team building events take place at least 3 times a year ranging from leadership and coaching courses, to road shows with food tasting and live cooking shows.

My Manager

70% of staff agreed

My work is an important part of my life

Pizza Express consistently seek to ensure their employees feel rewarded and hold roundtable events to gain feedback on what employees would like. Restaurant support teams are rewarded through the ‘Restaurant Support Hero Awards' by the Managing Director at their monthly team brief. They also run an employee of the month scheme to recognise exceptional work from operations managers, managers and team members.

My Company

67% of staff agreed

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

Pizza Express consistently seek to ensure their employees feel rewarded and hold roundtable events to gain feedback on what employees would like. Restaurant support teams are rewarded through the ‘Restaurant Support Hero Awards' by the Managing Director at their monthly team brief. They also run an employee of the month scheme to recognise exceptional work from operations managers, managers and team members.

Benefits

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

National Ranking
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Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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Best Large Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
London
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Yorkshire & The Humber
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Best Companies to work for in Yorkshire & The Humber