March 7th, 2012

Living Ventures came 28th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies

LIVING VENTURES HAS the right ingredients when it comes to employee engagement, with staff reporting a strong team ethic, great opportunities for development, a strong sense of wellbeing and positive leadership. Not bad, considering the Cheshire-based firm belongs to the catering and bar industry, renowned for its antisocial hours, cantankerous bosses and limited career opportunities.

However, in our survey staff report that the pressure of work is not bad enough to affect their concentration (a 78% positive score). Their training is of great personal benefit and working in their teams gives them a buzz (both 79%). All these results make our top 10 nationally.

The firm was founded in 1999 by entrepreneurs Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, stemming from their first venture, the Living Room. The brand developed across most leading cities in Britain, based on its bid to offer quality without exclusivity and high levels of service without high prices. Today, operations include Gusto, a chain of Italian restaurants and the Blackhouse steak and seafood restaurants. The company also has Surburbia, a nightclub based in Hale and several ventures in Manchester including the Alchemist Bar, specialising in theatrical cocktails and the Australasia restaurant in Deansgate.

The company gets its overall highest factor rank of ninth in My Team. Every year it holds an event called the LV challenge, a quiz based on food, drink and Living Ventures core knowledge. Each restaurant and bar in the group enters, and last years winners bagged £3,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to the Prosecco region in Italy, which included a three-day tour of the area. In addition, all staff are rewarded for hard work over the busy Christmas period with a company night out and their restaurant or bar is closed to allow everyone to attend.

There is a strong sense of family within their teams, staff tell us (scoring 81%, ranked seventh) and employees have fun with their colleagues (89%, a score bettered by just two other firms in our survey).

Leadership is highly regarded. Bacon started his career as a bartender and Roberts began by washing dishes in his dad's hotel. Employees believe senior managers truly live the values of the organisation (81%, ranked seventh) and are confident in their leadership skills (82%).

Training is compulsory, no matter what anyones previous experience or qualifications. As a result, jobs at Living Ventures are good for personal growth (80%).

Tags: Awards, Living Ventures
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Living Ventures is the proud operator of some of the most exciting brands in the UK restaurant and bar market.