The annual list of businesses independently certified as being among the best in Britain was announced last week and Whitbread came third in the list of large organisations, beaten only by fast-food operator KFC and drinks manufacturer PepsiCo.
The 67 organisations are described by the CRF Institute, founded in 1991, as having 'high rates of pay, excellent career development, a relaxed working environment or superb training'.
Whitbread, which operates the Brewers Fayre and Beefeater brands, got five stars for its pay, pension and share options and its career development.
Louise Smalley, HR director of Whitbread, said the award recognised the work the company was doing with its employees.
"We are thrilled to have been recognised once again as one of Britain's top employers and to have come third out of all the large organisations. This accolade is a ringing endorsement of the passion and focus that we place on building team engagement across Whitbread and it's our teams that make us the successful company we are today," she said.
Among the areas where the company was praised included its clarity of personal goals, bonus schemes and the job opportunities due to the rapid expansion of the business.
The company, which also operates the Costa brand, has seen the coffee shop as the strongest part of the portfolio although the hotel business is currently in the middle of a large expansion programme. Earlier this month BigHospitality reported Premier Inn had secured eight new hotel sites in a week .
J D Wetherspoon
McDonald's and KFC were also named on the list of top employers which also included pub operator J D Wetherspoon. It is the ninth year in a row the company founded by Tim Martin in 1979, has been named as achieving the highest standards in human resources management.
The CRF Institute said the pub operator had a socially responsible and respected image and offered training opportunities that exceeded the industry norm. J D Wetherspoon's legal and personnel director, Su Cacioppo, welcomed the announcement.
“We are extremely proud to be named as one of Britain’s top employers 2012. Wetherspoon employs more than 28,000 staff across its pubs and at its head office and we are committed to offering each and every one the best opportunity to succeed and grow with the company," she said.
The Netherlands-based CRF Institute was set-up as a joint initiative of academics, business journalists, trade associations, researchers and international publishers in order to identify top performers in HR, leadership and strategy.