EVEN STARS QUEUE to get into this popular chain’s four London restaurants and its newest site in Edinburgh. Actress Keira Knightley has been seen waiting to try Dishoom’s Iranian-Indian cuisine. Bookings are not accepted for tables of fewer than six people in the evenings, but staff hand out chai tea or sweet sherry to help time pass in a convivial atmosphere.
The chain was established in Covent Garden in 2010, modelled on the “Irani” cafes set up by emigrants to Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1900s, and now employs 517 people. Staff love working for the organisation, an 83% positive score, eighth on our list.
For Sabna Macal, a junior sous chef at the Carnaby Street branch, this is no bread-and-butter job. “I feel like I am coming home,” she says. “When you are busy you have more fun, it just comes from your heart. And Dishoom is always busy.”
All contracts are permanent and tips are fairly divided. Co-founder Shamil Thakrar says: “We pay at least as well as a lot of graduate training schemes.” The Fair Deal factor is the company’s best on our list (77%). A server makes £32,047 a year on average and staff are happy with their pay and benefits (84%).
Four promotions in four years have taken Vince Ferriero from food runner to floor manager at the King’s Cross branch. “I love this place because you learn so much,” he says. Staff find their training of great personal benefit (81%). Hassan Idd Hassan, head expeditor at the Carnaby Street branch, agrees, saying: “Dishoom is something special.”
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