Back To Blog

Mayan Cafe wins Business First Best Places to Work in Louisville award

This year, we received one of Business First‘s awards for Best Places to Work in Louisville. We were #11 in our category of businesses who have 25-150 employee. On the complete list of 50 winners, we were the only restaurant.

To win this award, our team was asked to fill out a survey, asking them how they felt about working with us. We had to have 85% of our staff respond to the survey or we were disqualified.

See our full award here. 

Here are a few quotes from our team members:

The Mayan Cafe values its employees more than any other job that I have had. I have had many other jobs many of which have been with corporations and larger companies which value the needs of their stockholders over the needs of their employees. Mayan Cafe almost functions as a non-profit, where profit is not the goal. Rather, the owners and the employees work to accomplish the company’s values and mission statement. Mayan actually commits to its promises to improve, unlike other companies that only make promises for appearances.”

“Mayan Cafe is different than any other place I’ve worked in the sense of belonging that it promotes. From day one I was treated warmly and respectfully and since then I’ve always felt truly valued not only as an employee but as a human being. My managers are -first of all- genuine, kind, funny women who bring positivity to the restaurant. They are all clear in their expectations and honest and fair when it comes to my performance. Constructive criticism is always just that – constructive. I was initially scared to have a performance review (something I’d never done before at a restaurant) but I left our meeting feeling energized by my goals for improvement and seen for my specific strengths as a server. I feel good about myself when I’m at work, comfortable being who I am and that I’m in my element as far as the work itself goes. The job is hard, we’re a busy restaurant and once things get going, we’re moving non-stop. To be honest, at first I was overwhelmed by the pace of the restaurant, but I learned quickly and realized that I was never on my own. I feel like Mayan Cafe attracts kind-hearted souls; my coworkers are just an incredible group of people. I’ve noticed that when I’m having a bad day my mood is actually positively impacted by coming to work. We’re always asking each other how we’re doing and we truly mean it when we say we’re here to support each other. Mayan Cafe really is more than a workplace for me, it’s become a second family, as cheesy as that may sound.”


We’d like to share a bit about what this means to us. Company culture is something we have taken very seriously since we opened in 2007. It took a bit to find our stride with identifying who was a good fit our restaurant. We wanted to be counter culture to the way many restaurants treat (and take for granted) their employees. We’ve implemented consistent schedules and encourage everyone to find balance in their work schedule and personal life. We give raises as often and as much as we possibly can. We added a 401k program in 2022 where we match up to 4% of all employees. They are immediately fully vested with us. We offer paid vacation and paid holidays to our kitchen and management team. Everyone eats well with us.

But more than those technical benefits, we care about our staff. We genuinely want their time with us to represent a bright spot in their career paths. This business can be hard and filled with drama and turnover. That is just not the case at Mayan Cafe. We are so grateful to every one has worked with us over these past 16 years for contributing to what makes us special.