Bringing people together…
We do not think of ourselves as business people primarily. We opened Los Gatos mainly to offer something new in Swindon that we missed from what was already here. We still think that in this industry, welcoming people and making them happy is more important than profit. Naturally, we have got to pay our staff and our overheads and we have to live, but beyond that we are committed to a number of principles about how we see our role in the community.
Sometimes we are so inspired by a local issue that we go beyond quietly donating or fundraising and support a campaign. Some years ago our staff helped raise over £6000 for victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster and more recently we have supported the campaigns to defend libraries from closure and to protect Lidyard Park from transfer to private hands. In 2016 we pledged our support to Swindon City of Sanctuary and are working with a group of refugees and asylum seekers from The Harbour Project who are interested in developing a restaurant business of their own.
We are frequently approached by charities for donations to raffles, sponsorship or cash. We cannot give to them all so we select local charities who are carrying out work we are interested in and do not have statutory sources of funding. For example, we would choose to help a charity supporting and campaigning on behalf of carers, rather than an Academy School which we feel we’ve already paid for in our taxes. We prefer personal approaches from people who we recognise as our customers, rather than an anonymous email fired out from behind a desk.
We count and declare all our takings honestly and see the collection of VAT and payment income tax, corporation tax and business rates as a contribution to the society we want to live in, providing education, health and social care as well as keeping our communities safe and welcoming. We may not agree with some of the things our national and local governments choose to do, but so long as they are democratically elected we will pay our taxes willingly.
We employ all our staff legally and honour their full statutory entitlements to holiday and sickness pay, national insurance and pension contributions. We pay everyone above minimum wage and are signatories to the Fair Tips Charter, sharing all tips equally among staff, whether paid by card or cash.