Corporate Governance

Modern Slavery Statement

As a responsible restaurant chain, The Big Table Group is committed to ensuring that within our supply chain and our own operations, we take a robust stance in the prevention of slavery and human trafficking. We continue to work with our suppliers to strengthen our supply chain due diligence in social, environmental, and ethical standards whilst recognising that some may need practical help and support in implementing these.

The Big Table Group’s Modern Slavery Statement sets out the steps we have taken to understand all potential risks, ensuring that these are addressed to support our objective of zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking in all our business activities.

Structure and Supply Chains

The Big Table Group is one of the leading independent restaurant companies in the UK employing over 6,500 people and serving millions of meals at around 265 locations. Our brands include: Las Iguanas, Bella Italia, Frankie & Benny’s, Banana Tree, Café Rouge, Amalfi and Chiquito.

We have a centralised Procurement team who work with around 100 suppliers and with them we have established strong relationships based on mutual trust and transparency.

We use Authenticate, an industry leading supply chain mapping tool to understand our ingredient sourcing and our exposure in different countries. Our high-risk countries are identified as Thailand, India, Italy, Spain and UK. Our aim is to build best practice supply chain assurance that is resilient to any potential risks and supports us to be vigilant in all parts of our business. To this end, we require our direct suppliers to work closely with all their supply chain partners including raw material producers, distributors, wholesalers and agents to meet this aim.

Ethical Trading
All direct suppliers and their supply chain partners must comply with all EU and UK legislation relating to ethical trading and worker welfare as a minimum. These include the following:

  • The Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977
  • The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) whose Base Code is drawn from the scope and standards defined by the UN and ILO.
  • Where applicable, companies must also demonstrate their own compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

In addition to this, The Big Table Group has its own Ethical Trading Policy that sets out company policies and practices to ensure our business and supply chain practices are free from slavery and human trafficking far as possible. Our Ethical Trading Policy covers 14 key principles that reflect those in the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)Base Code including: prohibition of slavery and human trafficking, safe and hygienic working conditions and payment of a fair wage. All direct suppliers are required to show compliance with this policy and to provide evidence of continuous improvement in worker welfare.

Suppliers must have their own Codes of Conduct, ethical trading policies and management systems to demonstrate their approach to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking.

All first-tier suppliers (our main direct suppliers) are required to be Sedex members and to provide due diligence on ethical trading including self-assessment, third party audits and corrective action of non-compliances on request from The Big Table Group.

Monitoring and Reporting
The Big Table Group will continue to work with our suppliers to share responsibility with them for modern slavery and worker welfare issues in our supply chain.

Day to day responsibility for monitoring of suppliers’ audits and self-assessments through Authenticate lies with our Technical Manager. We also conduct quarterly reviews on overall progress and compliance of our policies with Authenticate.

Next Steps for 2024
Our more recent acquisitions (Banana Tree, Frankie & Benny’s, and Chiquito) will be integrated in Authenticate in line with our compliance to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 through our supplier questionnaire, the purpose of which is to continue to raise awareness across our supplier base, particularly new suppliers, about the Modern Slavery Act and their compliance requirements.

  • We will update our risk mapping of new and existing suppliers according to product category and source location and to extend this to all first-tier suppliers including property and marketing.

  • We will request that our suppliers confirm their own compliance to the Modern Slavery Act and their cooperation if any slavery and human trafficking incidents are found in their supply chains.

  • We will use Authenticate to report on how effective we have been to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our business including key performance indicators (KPIs) as follows:

  • 100% of suppliers who have been audited against ethical trading requirements.
  • 100% % of suppliers approved.
  • 0 % of suppliers who have had to adopt corrective action for any legislative or company requirements.
  • We will provide refresher training to our procurement, marketing and property colleagues to raise awareness to Modern Slavery as part of their sourcing responsibilities.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54 (1) “Transparency in Supply Chains’ clause of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes The Big Table Group’s modern slavery and human trafficking statement. It will be reviewed and updated annually.

Signed by

Alan Morgan, Chief Executive Officer, The Big Table Group Limited, February 2024.

Tax Strategy



30 OCTOBER 2022 TO 29 OCTOBER 2023


The Group tax strategy is prepared and published in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016. The strategy relates to Isabela Topco Limited and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) and covers the period to 29 October 2023.

The Group owns and operates restaurants across the UK.

This strategy has been approved by the Board of Directors and is supported by the Group’s values and obligations to stakeholders.

The Group’s policy is to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and reporting requirements relating to the Group.

Risk management and governance

The Group is committed to tax compliance. The business of the Group involves a high volume of transactions with a range of processes to manage tax compliance. The Group ensures compliance by maintaining suitable systems and workstreams, which are monitored by skilled staff. The Group has established processes that enable accurate reporting for tax purposes. System controls and process checks are in place to ensure early detection of risks.

Responsibility for the management of tax matters is the CFO of the Group, who is also the Senior Accounting Officer for the Group.

The CFO is supported by the Financial Controller, the Brand Finance Directors and the Chief Information Officer who ensure tax compliance by day-to-day management of key workstreams and processes.

The CFO reports to the Group’s Board, bringing key tax matters to the Board’s attention.

The Group is supported by external advisors, who have the appropriate qualifications and experience to advise on tax law and its application, and who are consulted on key decisions that are tax related.

Tax Planning

The Group’s tax affairs are relatively straightforward given the Group is UK based and operates in a sector that is not complex. The business is consuming facing, with no complicated revenue streams and has straightforward cost structures.

The Group seeks to comply with tax legislation in a transparent way. The Group does not implement complex tax arrangements.

Any business decisions made that impact tax are made within the letter and spirit of the law. Where tax guidance is unclear, or the Group does not have the necessary knowledge to assess the tax consequences, then external advice is obtained to support the decision-making process.

Relationship with HMRC

The Group has an open and honest relationship with HMRC. The Group has an annual business review with HMRC that includes discussion on the business and the sector including any significant changes since the previous review.

The Group seeks to ensure that all returns are submitted within the statutory deadlines and that all taxes due are paid promptly. In the event of any material errors, the Group will notify HMRC as soon as possible and review processes and controls to mitigate any further errors.

We respond promptly to questions raised by HMRC and ensure information is provided in support of our response.

Approved by the Audit Committee: 19 March 2024 Approved by the Board: 20 March 2024

By making this strategy available for the financial year ending 29 October 2023 we are complying with our duty under paragraph16(2) and paragraph 25(1), Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016.

Gender Pay Gap

The Big Table Group Gender Pay Report – Based on relevant pay period snapshot April 2023

We are a relevant employer required by law to carry out Gender Pay Reporting under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. This involves carrying out six calculations that show the difference between the average earnings of men and women in our organisation, as at the 5th April 2023, the snapshot date. It will not include publishing individual employees’ data in a way that is identifiable. Detailed below are the metrics that we are required to report on.

Mean £12.30 £11.20 9%
Median £10.61 £10.42 1.8%
Pay Rates reported are for Full-Pay Relevant Employees** in the Relevant Pay Period***
Mean £3,144 £2,603 17.2%
Median £1,510 £1,500 0.7%
Bonus Amounts reported are for all Relevant Employees**** who received a bonus in the Relevant Bonus Period*****
Lower 37% 63%
Lower Middle 47% 53%
Upper Middle 56% 44%
Upper 67% 33%
Quartile Pay Bands reported are based on Pay Rates of Full-Pay Relevant Employees in the Relevant Pay Period
Total Employees Paid 2,052 1,944
# Paid Bonus 452 295
% Paid Bonus 22% 15.2%
% Paid Bonus shows proportion of Relevant Employees who received a bonus in the Relevant Bonus Period

Pay Rate* total amount paid (ordinary pay + bonus pay), in the relevant pay period, converted to an hourly rate
Full-Pay Relevant Employees** any employee who is employed on the snapshot date and who is paid their usual full basic pay (or pay for piecework) during the relevant pay period
Relevant Pay Period*** the pay period within which the snapshot date (April 5) falls
Relevant Employees**** all employees employed by the employer on the snapshot date of a given year
Relevant Bonus Period***** is a twelve month period that ends on the snapshot date

Reporting on our gender pay gap allows us to gain a greater awareness of the causes of the gap in pay between men and women, as well as identifying issues that may contribute to this gap. It is important to remember that having a gap in pay between males and females does not indicate that discrimination is currently happening in the workplace – there could be a number of reasons for this, from past social developments to changing attitudes towards work. Nonetheless, we are committed to taking action to close the gap, irrespective of the reasons for it. We use market pay rates for our restaurant-based roles which ensures that our teams pay reflects the relevant skills and knowledge that are required to perform that role, not based on gender. Women are well represented in both our senior leadership and restaurant management teams.

This year our median gap is 1.8% and our mean gap is 9%. One of the reasons for the 9% mean gap is that we have a greater number of females vs males (63%) working in roles, in the lower quartile pay band, such as ‘Waiting Team Member’ which are paid broadly at National Minimum Wage. There are also a greater number of males vs females working in roles such as Chefs, which are skilled positions with higher hourly rates. Furthermore, our CEO and CFO, both male, have a greater bonus potential and this has affected the mean gap % in 2023.

Tips (cash and Tronc) are not included in the Gender Pay Gap calculation, and we would expect that roles such as ‘Waiting Team Member’ would receive a greater amount of tips than those in other roles.

Across the group, 58% of our General Managers are male and 42% are female. However, our female General Manager on average earn 0.4% more than their male counterparts. This is due to some of our larger restaurants having female General Managers. Additionally, 3 out of 4 our Brand Managing Directors are female and 52% of our Senior Leadership Team are female.

At The Big Table Group, we value diversity and inclusion as a core part of our business. We are proud to say that everyone is welcome at Big Table. Every person has an opportunity to grow and develop their careers with us, and we place great importance on treating one another equally and paying people fairly for the role they perform, regardless of their gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status (including civil partnerships), race or ethnic origin, disability, part-time or fixed term working, and trade union membership. We also have fixed pay bands across all of our restaurants to ensure fair and equal pay

Tipping and Service

All customer cash tips and service charges are kept by restaurant employees in full.

When tips or service charge are paid for by a credit card or debit card, this is distributed in full to our employees. These arrangements are agreed by the teams locally through an independent Tronc system and are paid in full in addition to National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage. We don’t charge any admin fees or make any other company deductions.

Any tips paid in cash are retained by the individual waiter. They may or may not have arrangements in place to share these tips with other employees in the restaurant and staff in the restaurant kitchen. It is the responsibility of those receiving cash tips to declare the income for tax purposes to HM Revenue & Customs. The company does not participate in any aspect of cash tips. The Big Table Group and all of its restaurant businesses fully support the UK Hospitality (UKH) voluntary code of best practice on service charges and tips. More details of this code can be found on the UKH website.

In addition to tips, our employees benefit from 50% Employee Discount across all The Big Table Group Brands on food and drink, Team Meals whilst on duty, savings on 100's of retailers and activities through our Employee Advantages Scheme, along with numerous incentives for our teams to get involved in.

Director Duties

The Companies Act 2006 requires the directors of a company to act in the way that they consider, in good faith, would most likely promote the success of the company for the benefit of its shareholders and in doing so the Director must have regard, amongst other matters, to the:

  • likely consequences of any decisions in the long term;
  • interests of the company’s employees;
  • need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers & others;
  • impact of the company’s operations on the community and environment;
  • company’s reputation for high standards of business conduct;
  • need to act fairly between members of the company.

The Directors have significant experience working in multi-site leisure & hospitality businesses and bring this experience to the day-to-day management of the group. With the support of the wider Management Team, all decisions are made with strong insights & forward-looking considerations to ensure benefit to the group and the wider stakeholders.
The following is an overview of how the directors have fulfilled their duties with each main stakeholder group:

Our Team Members

Our team is key to the success of our business and their health and wellbeing are primary considerations in all the decisions that we make.
On a day-to-day basis we provide induction, training, and ongoing development to build and develop skills, confidence, and career opportunities. We have a dedicated team that is focused on recruitment, learning and development and we use a range of on-line and at-work programmes. Our programmes range from apprenticeships to degree courses. The business and our team actively engage via the Workplace application enabling learning, celebrations, & communications, bringing our team across the country together.
Given the impact of Covid-19 we have also ensured the safety of our team during trading as well as the support of the team during lockdown and furlough. It has been a challenging period for our Teams and we both appreciate their support and their ongoing commitments to the business and our guests.
We truly believe in celebrating the differences in our workplace and are guided by our key message of diversity:
“At The Big Table there is a place for everyone. Take your place, share your experiences and let’s celebrate the differences we all bring every day”.

Our Guests

Our mission is “to give all our guests a great time every time”.
By understanding our guest, their experience, and their feedback we can continuously improve on the brand proposition and the value equation. We use Feed It Back and similar tools to measure and gauge guest scores by site as well as gathering qualitative insights to improve the guest experience. Our team actively engage with our guest base, and we consider our guest in the development of our menu offer, our environment and the wider ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) considerations that we know are important to them.

Our Suppliers

Our supplier base is wide, and our Procurement Team proactively work with our suppliers as partners to unlock opportunities and address challenges. The UK wide disruption to supply chain during 2021 required even closer collaboration with our supply partners, which in most cases has strengthened the relationships and provided new opportunities.

Our Shareholders

The Directors ensure that both investor & management shareholders are kept informed of key decisions and other material factors that impact the group. Board meetings of the parent company are regularly held across the year, with papers provided in advance for review and discussion. Refer to the Corporate Governance Report for further particulars.

The Community and the Environment

Our group has an important role in contributing to the wider community. The group proactively considers ESG with a practical, purpose-led plan that delivers tangible, quantifiable, and sustained outcomes. Our primary pillars are Planet, People & Product, and the ESG Committee representing a range of stakeholders across the business meets regularly across the year. “Planet” areas of focus include responsible sourcing, animal welfare, ethical trading, carbon footprint reduction, waste management and water reduction. “People” includes focus areas such as apprenticeships, diversity & inclusion, compliance with modern slavery act, charity, staff engagement & wider team and community interests. “Product” focus areas include provenance & authenticity, hygiene, calorie labelling, plant-based foods, and allergen management. This is an example of the wider ESG activities. ESG is important to our team, our guests and our shareholders and is a key consideration in our decision making. Key decisions during the period included acquisition of the sites from CDG, responding to the government restrictions and their impact on trading, the reopening of restaurants, our investment in the estate and decisions impacting our team both during lockdown and during the period of trading. The Directors made these decisions with appropriate insights and in consideration of forward-looking factors, for the benefit of the company, the group, and the wider stakeholders.

Want to get in touch?