Food service firm Lexington Catering has scooped 11th place in its first entry on the Sunday Times list of the top 100 companies to work for.
Lexington, one of only three hospitality businesses to feature, was the only contract caterer on the list and was also awarded a maximum three-star "extraordinary" status.
Inventive Leisure, which operates 63 Revolution vodka bars across the UK, moved up nine places to 25, while Belfast-based pub chain Botanic Inns fell 13 spots to 73.
Lexington had previously been placed 53rd on the 2009 small companies list as a two-star organisation.
Mike Sunley, chief executive and a founder of Lexington, said: "This really is such a fantastic achievement for everyone at Lexington and it means so much to us all.
"When we first set up Lexington, one of our goals was to be included in the Sunday Times Top 100, so to be seen as the best caterer and 11th-best company to work for is incredible."
(L-R Lexington Directors Rachel Lindner, Katharine Lewis, Jonathan Austin CEO Best Companies, Mike Sunley, Rob Kirby, Julia Edmonds and Tim West)
Lexington scored very positively from the independent and anonymous survey that staff members completed, where the respondents said they strike just the right balance between work and home life (79%).
Staff also said that they love working for Lexington (82%), that they feel they can make a difference within the company (78%), are excited about the company's future (80%) and that they feel that Lexington is run on strong principles (83%).
Inventive Leisure's approach to managing is a hit with staff: employees say their managers are good leaders (80%) and motivate people to give their best every day (74%).
Botanic Inns employees were found to be happy with the balance between work and home life (69%) and say what is expected of them is made completely clear (78%). They are treated fairly (67%) and believe their manager would be quick to respond if they showed signs of being under too much pressure (70%).
By Janie Stamford
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