Translations

COOK, a company that fosters food and relationships

7. Community involvement

Community development

Context

Founded in 1997, Cook is a family business that creates, prepares and sells homemade frozen meal trays. Its headquarters is located in Sittingbourne, Kent. Cook coun more than 1,000 employees and has 87 stores across the UK and works with freelancers, far removed from English retail giants such as Tesco. The company's founders have always wanted to give their company a social and local dimension, not only in the preparation of meals, entirely made by Kent cooks from seasonal ingredients, but also in the management of their teams and in the relationship with their customers. The company is certified B-corporation, a symbol of its commitment.

Objectives

  • Creating a business with a positive change in the world by creating shared and durable prosperity for all 
  • Nourishing relationships with their employees and offering “human-shaped" benefits to the staff  
  • Nourishing relationships with their customers and communities
  • Offering the best home-made frozen food

APPROACH

Cook implements a global CSR approach through its products, distribution and internal management : 

 

 

  • The products: Cook's cuisine 

 

A team of more than 300 cooks is dedicated to the preparation of the company's "homemade" dishes. They check the state of the ingredients, which come from most of Europe. A team then prepares them for the chefs, who do everything from meat to adding the last spices. The dishes are then packaged, labelled, and finally sent to the 87 stores.

 

 

  • Distribution: Cook creates a link between people 

 

Cook only works with independent stores and ensures that salespeople are fully available to customers. They sometimes spend hours talking to them, checking in on them and, above all, allowing those who suffer from loneliness to interact with someone. Store managers also have "Care Cards" that allow significant discounts for one year. They are free to give them to anyone they feel is going through a difficult time. At the same time, stores offer significant discounts for organizing local events to build a community. The convenience of frozen meals combined with lower prices makes it possible to develop many initiatives across the country.

 

 

  • Internal management: training and happiness at Cook

 

Cook takes particular care of its employees: the company allocates a "living wage", in contrast to the "minimum wage", to enable them to lead a decent life. It also provides loans and focuses on training, particularly through the Dream Academy, which allows them to make one of their dreams come true. Finally, Cook has set up an initiative called "Raw talents". This is a recruitment session for people facing barriers to employment (illness, prison, homeless). 

 

CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE

  • "Living Wage Foundation" increases employee motivation and loyalty through good living wages and professional training.
  • As a "B corporation", Cook belongs to this community, which makes it possible to meet companies from all over the world, to create links with other companies, which can potentially facilitate collaborations and improve relations with suppliers.
  • With 360 "Community Kitchen" people gathered in community public places, Cook builds loyalty and increases its customer base. These social events generate increases in consumption and demand for the company's products and make it possible to make their dishes known to as many people as possible.

Benefits

  • Cook has allowed to more than 60 people with a difficult past (prison, health problems) to access work and to be socially integrated.
  • With "Living Wage Foundation", the company provides above-average salaries, training, holidays and coaching.
  • Create links with customers. Many costumers are seniors or unattached individuals and employees are there to talk to them, build a relationship with them and help them (such as carry the purchases).
  • With "Community Kitchen", Cook allows people to meet each other, to feel that they belong to a community and sometimes to get them out of their loneliness.
  • Cook has made it possible to hold more than 360 local events thanks to its policy in 2017.
Workforce
1 056 employés (2017)
Turnover
74m £
Country
United Kingdom

Contact

Charlotte Sewell

0000-00-00

Mise à jour le 27/03/2019

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.