Heathcotes has become the first restaurant group to receive star-status from Best Companies in recognition of its commitment to training and staff development.
Best Companies researches and compiles the annual Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for list.
Heathcotes, which currently has 11 restaurants and five more set to open this year, picked up the accolade in recognition of initiatives such as its chef's academy, motivation and self esteem building exercises and staff reward scheme.
Best Companies chief executive Jonathan Austin said: "The prestigious Best Companies accreditation is unique amongst this sector and recognises that Heathcotes has taken huge steps with their people and team."
Paul Heathcote, director of Heathcotes, said: "Over the 16 years of being in business I have continually heard the moans and groans that it can't be done, too many students and transient staff, too little time to train… but it depends on how you approach the subject, your approach has to be single minded."
Last month McDonald's won Caterer's Best Place to Work in Hospitality in 2007. The fast-food restaurant beat off strong competition from other individual award winners including Malmaison Hotel du Vin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Ego Restaurants to take the overall prize.
By Chris Druce
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