Vegan fast food outlet Temple of Seitan becomes Living Wage employer, paying Hackney workers £10.20 per hour

Rebecca McGuinness and Patrick O’Shea outside Temple of Seitan in Morning Lane (Photo: Living Wage Foundation)

Vegan fast food outlet Temple of Seitan has won plaudits from the Living Wage Foundation for paying all staff a minimum hourly wage of £10.20.

The Morning Lane eatery was today certified as an accredited “Living Wage Employer”, meaning all workers including third-party contract staff receive the Foundation-backed hourly rate.

The Foundation’s Living Wage is calculated based on the cost of living, and is nearly three pounds higher than the legal minimum wage of £7.50 for over-25s, which since 2016 the government has called a National Living Wage.

Temple of Seitan was founded by Melbourne couple Rebecca McGuinness and Patrick O’Shea in 2015, and specialises in “vegan chicken”.

McGuinness said: “Our staff are by far the most important element of our business and we believe that should be reflected in their salary.

"Chicken" in a basket. Photograph: Temple of Seitan

I can’t believe it’s not chicken: ‘Vegan chicken’ at Temple of Seitan (Photo: Temple of Seitan)

“Both Pat and I have both previously worked hospitality jobs prior to starting our own business, so we really wanted to make sure that we treat our staff in the way we would’ve liked to have been treated, and the Living Wage is one element of that.

She added: “We are proud to be an accredited Living Wage Employer, particularly as there are so few in the hospitality sector. We hope this can be an example to other businesses.”

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We welcome Temple of Seitan to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.

“Responsible businesses across the UK are voluntarily signing up to pay the real Living Wage now. The real Living Wage rate is annually calculated to reflect the real costs of living.”

More than 3,800 employers in the UK go beyond legal duties and pay the foundation’s Living Wage, including small businesses and household names like IKEA.

Chapman added: “These businesses recognise that the Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Temple of Seitan, join us because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”