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12th January 2017, 13:58

Dragons’ Den winner Levi Roots’ Caribbean Smokehouse restaurant in Westfield, Stratford City, London, has been accredited as a real Living Wage employer.

The Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse is blazing a trail in the restaurant industry by signing up to pay the real Living Wage to all fifty employees in their London store, going further than the lower legal minimum of the National Living Wage. 

The real Living Wage commitment will see everyone at Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors, receive a minimum hourly London wage of £9.75 - significantly higher than the current national minimum wage of £6.95 (20- 24 year olds) and the new minimum wage premium for 25s and over, currently £7.20 per hour.

2007 Dragons’ Den winner, Levi Roots said:

Our business model for Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse was always to make sure that every employee is paid at least the real London Living Wage.  It’s fabulicious that this has been publicly recognised by our Living Wage Employer accreditation, just in time for our first birthday celebrations.

Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse, Head of Operations, Steve Philips said:

I am pleased we are officially recognised as a Living Wage business. This forms part of our commitment to become an industry leading employer as we look to grow our brand. As well as our London restaurant we have a number of others in the pipeline.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said:

It is fantastic that Levi Roots are signing up to pay the real Living Wage and showing leadership on tackling low pay in the restaurant sector.  They join a growing movement of nearly 3,000 organisations who want to pay more than the legal minimums on pay because they recognise the value their staff add to the organisation, and the difference the real Living Wage makes to people’s lives. We hope Levi Roots example will encourage many more restaurants to sign up.


Media Contacts

Shazia Ejaz, or Monica Brimacombe, Telephone- 0207 043 9886 or mobile 07956 842683. 

Notes to Editors

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

About Levi Roots

In 2006 Levi Roots, a musician, sold 4,000 bottles of a jerk barbecue sauce at the Notting Hill Carnival. Later he was spotted by a BBC producer who approached him to appear on Dragons' Den. He appeared in the first episode of the fourth series where he was offered £50,000 for a 40% stake in his business by Dragons Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh.

Shortly after his appearance on the programme, Sainsbury's announced that they would be stocking the sauce in 600 of their stores. In December 2015, Roots opened his Smokehouse restaurant in Westfield City, Stratford.

About the Living Wage Foundation

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by the nearly 3,000 Living Wage employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to ensure their staff earn a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living. We are an initiative of Citizens UK.

Only the real Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in London and the UK. Employers choose to pay this wage on a voluntary basis. The real Living Wage applies to all workers over 18 – in recognition that young people face the same living costs as everyone else. It enjoys cross party support.

The London Living Wage is currently £9.75 per hour. This figure covers all boroughs in Greater London. The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £8.45 per hour. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

How is the real Living Wage different from the government’s National Living Wage?

In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign - even calling it the ‘National Living Wage’.

The government's 'National Living Wage' is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. It is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. Under current forecasts this means a rise to less than £9 per hour by 2020.

That's why the Living Wage movement campaigns for all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the cost of living, not just the government minimum.