Not only is Greggs on a roll financially, but staff satisfaction is heating up faster than you can say Cornish pasty. The bakery, which has been remaking itself as a sandwich shop, came top of a list of high street eateries and coffee shops when reviewed anonymously by staff.
It achieved an average rating of 3.8 out of five from 139 reviews on website Glassdoor, up from just 2.9 at the start of 2015. Chief exec Roger Whiteside has an approval rating of 92%, while 77% would recommend working there to a friend. Seems a first-half profits rise of 51% can really do wonders for winning the love of employees.
In second and third place were chain restaurants Pizza Hut and Nando’s, with scores of 3.8 and 3.6. Meanwhile, the average ranking of a company on the site is 3.2. Domino’s, Pret A Manger and McDonald’s, in 8th to 10th place, all scored just 3.1.
That will come as a particular slight to McDonald’s, whose UK business has been trying to shrug off the mid-noughties ‘McJob’ moniker for years now by bigging up their significant investment in staff training. But at least it’s not doing as badly as Pizza Express, which scored a mere 2.7, and Pret rival Eat, which clocked up a paltry 2.2.
These kind of figures are, of course, not necessarily a reflection of a company’s entire staff. Most people who bother to leave online reviews are either ecstatically happy, terminally grumpy or have genuinely had the worst experience of their lives. Glassdoor only required 20 of them to be included in the list anyway, which isn’t comprehensive as it doesn’t include other American chains like KFC and Burger King, which don’t have separate UK company profiles.
It’s probably true, though, that the sector could do with giving their staff some love. When it comes to work-life balance (one of five measures workplaces are ranked on), the top 25 companies on Glassdoor had scores of 4.3 to 4.6. Arguably the shift work of eateries is never going to match up to a flexible-working tech company, but Greggs shows improvements can be made.
Score (to one decimal place): 3.8
What staff say (all sic): ‘Everyone pulls together and helps each other out’
‘Great team feeling, good discounts, lots of promotional opportunities’
2. Pizza Hut UK
What staff say: ‘Friendly team, flexible hours and free pizza’
‘Good team spirit, good pay’
3. Nando’s UK
What staff say: ‘Lovely people to work with, excellent induction process, development opportunities are huge and really allow you to explore interests/skills, social side of things is great... and you get a free Nando's every day you work!’
Credit: Ewan Munro/Flickr
What staff say: ‘Great mix of people... stressful shifts can leave you very worn out’
‘Some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with... terrible morale among employees’
What staff say: ‘Free beverages, some friendly people... awful working hours, awful workload for amount of staff, no support from managers, not good training’
Credit: Paul Wilkinson/Flickr
What staff say: ‘Many people progress through the company internally’
'Very low pay'
What staff say: ‘Free meals Free food Free food Free food Free meals Free food and drink Free mealsy’
‘Immense pressure maybe passed down from managers over poor mystery diner performance, as Wagamama will push blame onto them. Mystery diners will often overlook how busy or short staffed you might be.’
8. Domino’s Pizza UK
What staff say: ‘You get to eat all the extra made pizzas... [but] get fat because of all the pizza’
‘Job role was changed due to difficulties with CSR work as I have Aspergers Syndrome... Management have clearly been very considerate towards my needs and haven't just sacked me with the click of a finger.’
9. Pret A Manger
What staff say: ‘Most of the managers I encountered while working in several stores were very positive and passionate about the work they do... You only got paid LIVING WAGE if you pass the mystery shopper report. Even if you did a great job the whole week, an other staff member would make a mistake, and you would be underpaid for that reason.’
10. McDonald’s UK
What staff say: ‘Flexible hours, great crew, free food’
‘Very very rude customers and pay is disgusting