When it comes to awards, we can take or leave the Oscars, the Brits and, yes, even the Eurovision Song Contest. At COOK, we’re all about the annual Best Companies list. Being a great employer is as important to us as making great food and, over the years, we’ve found that if people are invested and enjoying working here, the rest the business ultimately takes care of itself.
While we were incredibly fortunate to continue operating during the pandemic, the coronavirus made the 2020/21 financial year the most challenging in our history. Almost overnight, the COOK team suddenly became essential workers, we were rushed off our feet with the sands shifting week-to-week, and we had to somehow quickly and safely implement social distancing in busy kitchens and in all our shops. So, while every Best Companies is important, we knew this year’s was a big one. The results are based on anonymous feedback from our own team and, given everything that had happened, we awaited the virtual awards in May 2021 with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
We were gobsmacked: COOK was ranked #1 in the Best Food & Drink Companies to Work For in the whole of the UK. On top of that we retained our three-star, ‘world class’ ranking, and improved on our overall placing, too, coming #29 overall. Perhaps best of all, we were presented by Dan Walker with a Giving Something Back Award, in recognition of over 200,000 meals donated to vulnerable people during the pandemic, and our RAW Talent programme that helps people trying to rebuild their lives back into the security of a decent job.
The workplace culture across COOK – in logistics, the three kitchens, the warehouse, our shops and the office – may be led by our values, but it’s created by our team. By working together and supporting each other, especially over this impossible year, they make COOK a truly remarkable place to work. Our heartfelt thanks to all of them for their dedication, kindness and humour. And a huge thank you to you, our customers, for your continued support. Without you, we wouldn’t exist.
We love to share ideas with like-minded companies. Goodness knows we’ve learnt a lot along the way – and continue to do so! – so please feel free to get in touch if it sounds like we’re on the same wavelength. Email us at PeopleTeam@cookfood.net.