Today COOK has become an official Living Wage employer. At our Kitchens and in our company-owned shops everyone will be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.85 an hour (or £9.15 if they’re working in London). Very few retailers and manufacturers pay the Living Wage. We happen to be both which makes us doubly unusual.
So why are we doing it?
Our purpose at COOK is to create a remarkable food business that’s a force for good in society. That means paying people properly so they don’t need to depend on state handouts to survive and also making sure everyone shares in our success (we’ve also got a profit share scheme for all staff).
We were already paying well above the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour. But after 18 years of sometimes precarious existence, COOK is finally in a fairly robust financial position, making a decent profit each year. Most of that profit is ploughed back into the business. What’s left over is available to be paid as dividends to shareholders. Given our purpose, we felt it would be inappropriate for shareholders to get a dividend while COOK wasn’t paying people enough to live on, as measured by a credible, independent benchmark.
The Living Wage is calculated each year by an independent body, The Living Wage Foundation. It takes into account all the costs of living and is updated annually. At COOK, we know our product and our brand is only as good as our people. They all do a remarkable job. We’re delighted to now be an official Living Wage employer.