Quick facts

About Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate Ltd

The title Hearts, Tarts and Rascals — a book on the history of Bettys & Taylors by chairman Jonathan Wild — makes it sound as if the company is staffed by a cheeky bunch of good-natured scoundrels. But they are a trio of cakes made by and sold at the Yorkshire tearooms.

Far from taking a roguish approach to their jobs, Bettys employees are a dedicated lot who say they are proud to work at the company, scoring this point 81% positive in the survey. And they are an incredibly loyal workforce; 126 people have worked at the firm for more than 15 years and average length of service is 5 years.

Perhaps it is the free and plentiful supply of cakes, as well as healthier options, laid on in the staff cafes present at all branches, which breeds such faithfulness. Or the extra time off that is earned with long service.

To celebrate employees' fifth anniversaries with the company they are given a certificate entitling them to an extra week's paid holiday, while 10th and 15th anniversaries earn an extra fortnight's paid leave. Those parts of the woodwork with more than 20 years' service get an extra week off for every further year they are with the firm.

By which calculations chairman Wild — the great-nephew of the founder of Bettys — must have plenty of leisure time, having worked at the family business for 32 years, nine of them as its boss. He has earned his stripes with his staff, who have a great deal of faith in his leadership, giving this point a positive score of 79%, and think he runs the company according to sound moral principles (81%, and a top 20 score). Only three companies record a higher positive score (67%) for putting something back into the community.

The whole leadership team takes a hands-on approach, helped by their office locations. The managing director is based at the bakery, the operations director at one of the branches and the human resources director at the tea and coffee factory. And seeing as all sites are within a 25-mile radius, they know most staff personally.

Within a year of joining, all employees are given a grand tour of the business, hosted by Wild, so they can see how their role slots into the bigger picture, and the rest of the board joins them for lunch. Staff scored the question asking if they think senior managers truly live the values of the organisation 78% positive, and they believe their contribution is valuable to its success (75%).

Employees are kept abreast of developments and points for action via monthly team briefings, which are cascaded through the business within five days. The process was introduced in 1985 and last year Bettys celebrated its 250th briefing. The firm's inclusive management style helps create solid foundations and staff feel their job is secure, rating this point 83% positive, a score bettered by just 11 companies in this survey. An occupational health nurse is on hand not only if someone has a health problem but also to provide preventative measures. Blood pressure checks, lung function testing, back care clinics, flu jabs, drivers' medicals and return-to-work checks for staff who have been off ill are all offered.

Everyone with more than a year's service has access to a company-funded healthcare scheme, free to those with more than 20 years' service. Other perks include 25% off all products, nursery vouchers and gym membership.

Company Statistics

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  • Male to Female ratio:

    36% / 64%

  • Earning £35,000+:


  • Sites:



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