University of Leeds - Head of Retail Catering



The University of Leeds is one of the UK’s largest, most prestigious and diverse research-intensive universities and has been named University of the Year 2017 by The Times and The Sunday Times’ Good University Guide. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 universities in the QS World rankings, and a member of the Russell Group of leading research universities, the University has an annual turnover of £620 million, over 31,000 students and 7,500 staff. Situated within the heart of Leeds city centre the University estates portfolio comprises of over 315 buildings, over 4million square feet of academic accommodation and over 8000 student bedrooms, all within the UK’s largest self-contained city campus. Commercial & Campus Support Services provides a range of facilities and services to the University community and beyond that include Catering, Cleaning Services, Conferencing & Events, Facilities Support Services, the Print & Copy Bureau, Security Services and Sport and Physical Activity. The facilities we manage include two large indoor sports centres, 100 acres of sports grounds, two outdoor activity centres, 13 catering outlets, a large campus refectory, a print room and hospitality function suite. Cleaning Services maintain all the academic buildings on the main University of Leeds campus. Our conference & events service, MEETinLEEDS, offers a wide range of meeting facilities that, as well as providing hospitality for members of staff, attract an international audience to the University. Facilities Support Services provide a range of support to the Central Teaching Space on campus that extends to 250 lecture theatres and classrooms. The services provided are extremely popular with students, staff and community users alike, with for example over 15,000 students and staff buying sports membership annually and on average 45,000 transactions a week in term time through our catering outlets.

The vision for Commercial & Campus Support Services is that we will provide excellent, financially sustainable services and facilities to our customers, which will make a significant contribution to the University’s world class aspiration. Head of Retail Catering, Great Food at Leeds We are looking for an outstanding candidate to provide leadership for Retail Catering at the University. Reporting to the Deputy Director (Commercial), the new Head of Retail Catering will be responsible for 14 cafes, a 1000 seat refectory in addition to the delivered service operation for meetings and events (team of 100). The role will have a significant degree of autonomy, and exercise a high level of judgement regarding the operation and development of the retail operation of the Great Food at Leeds Service, ensuring services provided are appropriately aligned to the needs of the university community, secure value for money and deliver high customer satisfaction. This is a blended role spanning all aspects of strategy and operations with the post holder being a proactive and committed member of the Commercial and Campus Support Services leadership team. You will be responsible for the complex forward planning and co-ordination and timely delivery of all tenders, business plans, menus and products. The successful candidate will possess significant experience of senior retail catering and/or hospitality operations in a similar complex commercial setting. You will be a strong communicator with developed people management skills who is able to succeed in collaborative and collegial environments. The role will suit individuals with the proven ability to translate a strategic vision into an operational business plan.


This information should be read in conjunction with visiting the University website

• affirms that we will play a full part in the development of the Leeds City region and the country as a whole, boosting engagement with the City, the NHS, the world-class cultural community in the North of England and industry partners.

INCREASING KNOWLEDGE AND OPPORTUNITY Established by Royal Charter in 1904, the University of Leeds is one of the UK’s top ten research institutions, and one of the UK’s largest, most prestigious and diverse universities, with more than 31,000 students from 146 different countries, and with more than 220,000 alumni from over 180 different countries. We are now embarking upon an exciting and critical period in our development. A new strategic plan was adopted in July 2014, covering the period 2014-20. Reaffirming that the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge remain at the heart of our mission, the plan commits us to provide a wide range of opportunities for students and staff, ensuring excellence in every aspect of student education, research and innovation, and promoting enterprise and creativity. Increasing knowledge and opportunity in powerful combination is a defining feature of life at Leeds, distinguishing us from other universities and enabling us to address the challenges of higher learning and research across a broad range of disciplines with energy and confidence.

In parallel, we are working to build our international reach and influence, developing enduring education and research initiatives with carefully selected partners around the world. The biggest challenge is, however, boosting the quality and volume of our research. The plan commits us to secure an ambitious step change in research income – of 50 per cent by 2020 – which would give us a concomitant uplift in research performance and reputation. To that end, we are investing in new staff and new studentships, in buildings, and in the research base, especially in new technology platforms. Achieving the objectives set out in the plan requires us to adopt different ways of working within the University – to become more agile; to be more outward-looking and responsive to market opportunities; and to reduce the bureaucratic burden, freeing up academic time for new academic initiatives within a more open, high-trust environment in which our expectations of staff and their personal responsibilities and accountabilities are clear.

The plan recognises that we need to be more outward-facing. It therefore

• places a premium on establishing and enhancing strategic partnerships and collaborations, to promote creativity, innovation, enterprise and impact;


ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE • 20 of our academics have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other institution in England, Northern Ireland and Wales – reflecting the excellence of our teaching. • We are a top 10 university for research power in the UK according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. • We are currently recruiting 250 academic fellows. These are new posts, which will substantially boost our research capacity and capability. • We are part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which comprises 18 research intensive institutions spanning five continents. • We are a member of the Russell Group of research- intensive universities. For further information please see: www.russellgroup. • We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize, one of the country’s highest accolade for an academic institution, in 2009 and 2011. • In the latest National Student Survey (NSS), 90 per cent of our final year students rated their course as intellectually stimulating. • In our latest audit by the Quality Assurance Agency the University received a commendation, the highest category of praise available, for our enhancement of student learning opportunities.

ENTERPRISE AND INITIATIVE We play a major role in the city, region and have international reach and influence. We draw on strong partnerships – promoting creativity, enterprise, innovation and impact – with other universities, industry and the public and third sectors to ensure the transfer of knowledge and higher level skills. • Since 1995 the University of Leeds has produced 101 ‘spinout’companies, the second largest number in the higher education sector in the UK. We currently have 40 active spinout companies and have the largest number of listed spinout companies of any UK university (seven). • 59 per cent of our academics are involved in applied research or as consultants to industry with an estimated contract value of £78 million. • We have 16 active Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, the sixth highest number in the UK. • Our ‘Spark’ initiative offers business start-up support and we run an annual business plan competition with prizes of up to £2,000 for entrepreneurial students. • Our research income in 2013-14 was £133 million.


Our Values When Commercial & Campus Support Services came together we came to an agreement about what it is that we wanted to represent. These simple values capture the essence of what we stand for as a team. They explain to all of our staff what is expected of them when undertaking their work. We see these values as really important, they will be the benchmark against which we assess ourselves and each other; we expect all staff to use them in their everyday working life. We also believe that if we live by these values our customers will notice a difference. We will be giving really fantastic service and be a place that our customers want to come to. We will in essence achieve our vision of giving our customers a really great experience.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE We are a large and diverse organisation, employing 7,500 staff comprising over 100 nationalities. Our annual turnover was £620 million (2014-15). The University is led by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands. He is supported by a senior management team, one of whom is the Director of Facilities Management who leads our Facilities Directorate. The Facilities Directorate comprises Estates, Residential, Sustainability and Commercial and Campus Support Services. COMMERCIAL AND CAMPUS SUPPORT SERVICES Commercial and Campus Support Services provides a range of facilities and services to the University community and beyond, which include Sport and Physical Activity, Catering, Cleaning, Conferencing, Facilities Support, and the Print & Copy Bureau. Our Vision The vision for Commercial & Campus Support Services is that we will provide excellent, financially sustainable services and facilities to our customers, which will make a significant contribution to the University’s world class aspiration. Our key aims are closely aligned to the University’s strategy map and can be summarised as: • Delivering an Excellent Customer Experience • A Sustainable, Effective and Efficient Organisation • Financial Sustainability • Valuing and Developing all our Staff Our Mission: to inspire through excellence As staff in Commercial & Campus Support Services we are committed to creating and reinforcing this culture. We will: • Value teamwork and participation by all staff, whatever the level, and believe in personal development and the nurturing of talent and potential; • Have structure to the way we work, but with freedom for leaders to ensure those systems are fit for the specific workplace; • Work in a positive and friendly environment where staff are known to each other and commitment to each other and the Service is high; • Emphasise trust, respect, openness and honesty with each other; • Share our performance widely and discuss improvements openly and without cause for concern; • Value efficiency, ensure we operate a smooth running service but value the distinctiveness our people bring to our service; • Be dynamic and entrepreneurial, anticipate the needs of customers and surprise and delight them by being innovative and responsive; • Commit to excelling and being the best in what we do, compete Our Culture

Go the Extra Mile

Show You Care

Share a Smile

Know Your Stuff

What We Stand For 1. We’re not driven by the needs of shareholders but by a responsibility to our customers, communities and the betterment of the University of Leeds 2. Our aim is to be profitable because that is how we fund the investment in new, or the refurbishment of existing facilities, as well as supporting and enhancing the student experience 3. Our ways of working are ethical – supporting local businesses, producers and Fairtrade suppliers and always aiming to offer the best value for money Great Food at Leeds • Providing customers with quality fresh food at competitive prices is at the heart of what we strive to achieve through the facilities and services we offer across campus. • Our varied offer includes everything from a freshly made sandwich to a hot meal delivered via our 14 cafes and award winning Refectory. • For events and hospitality, our expertise and passion is second to none for delivered food and fine dining functions. • Our team care about the food we provide. Our products are carefully selected and we use locally sourced, seasonal and Fairtrade wherever possible.

with the best, outperforming private sector too. Download the ‘Our Culture’ document (PDF)


ensure the area/service’s overall aims and objectives are achieved and appropriately aligned to the University’s strategic plan.

Job Description: Head of Retail Catering, Great Food at Leeds

Responsible to: Deputy Director (Commercial)

• Be a proactive and committed member of the Commercial and Campus Support Services leadership team and contribute to strategic plans and developments for Commercial and Campus Support Services as a whole. • Work with senior managers such as Deans, Heads of Schools and Services in order to develop responsive service to their needs and improve service delivery to students, staff, and other visitors • Be responsible for complex forward planning, including; the co- ordination and timely delivery of tenders, business plans, menus, products, and all equipment for outside events, both student and commercial business

Responsible for: Retail Catering – Cafes, Refectory and Delivered Services (approximately 100+ staff)

Grade: 9 (£48,327 - £55,998).

Context Reporting to the Deputy Director (Commercial), this role will have a significant degree of autonomy, and exercise a high level of judgement regarding the operation and development of the retail operation of the Great Food at Leeds Service, ensuring services provided are appropriately aligned to the needs of the university community, secure value for money and deliver high customer satisfaction. Retail catering in Great Food at Leeds at the University comprises the operation of some 14 cafes, a 1000 seat Refectory and Delivered Service operation servicing small, medium and large meetings and events. Main duties and responsibilities Responsible for the leadership and management of the retail operation of CCE, taking all necessary actions and decisions regarding the current and future management of retail catering operations within CCE. Provide leadership for service delivery, setting strategic direction to

• Analyse (often complex) management information to identify and clarify key issues,

• Ensure timely and appropriate decisions are made to maximise revenue potential and minimise business risk.

• Plan and lead complex projects to deliver service improvements, reporting on project initiatives, progress, and implementation to senior management The post holder will promote and deliver a strong customer service culture for students, staff, client departments and other stakeholders.


• Develop, implement, and monitor service standards for all service areas. Ensure remedial action is taken to restore service standards as positive and proactive feedback mechanisms, to develop understanding and achievement of customer expectations required. Be responsible for communicating performance and action against agreed standards to senior management. • Lead, support, and actively promote; product and retail innovation, and benchmarking against the high street, consistently bringing forward innovative ideas to refresh or improve the quality of the product line available • Ensure all facility and product development is aligned to customer need and that any changes to service, from menu cycles to facility refurbishments, are well planned and appropriately communicated, in partnership with the Commercial Services Marketing Team • Monitor and communicate changes in both the internal and external environment which may impact on existing or future business. Assess impact and make recommendations to senior management as appropriate • In conjunction with Marketing take responsibility for developing loyalty programmes through catering activity and the management of their effectiveness • Build and maintain excellent working relationships and networks, both internally and externally, in order to raise the profile of the retail operation so that the University community and external commercial

market better understand the range of retail services available Taking overall responsibility for the financial and people performance and service efficiency in line with targets and priorities set out within the overall business plan and strategy. • Prepare and manage the annual budget for Great for at Leeds, in order that all costs are identified and controlled/adjusted as required, in accordance with actual revenues achieved, to ensure net profit targets are protected. • Provide effective leadership and management of health and safety standards and practice, ensure compliance with relevant legislation and statutory codes of practice and a due diligence framework is established and managed appropriately • Ensure effective engagement with the University’s Sustainability strategy, promote ethical and sustainable products, and support our commitment to Fairtrade • Communicate a clear vision of what is to be achieved for the teams within the retail operation, define objectives to ensure that this happens. • Ensure achievable key performance indicators are defined for all direct management; put in to place the highest standards of communication and engagement practices for staff. • Ensure that the University’s financial regulations are adhered to at all times


• Recruit, appoint and retain sufficient skilled staff to meet the needs of the services required to promote customer satisfaction taking full responsibility for ensuring that the expertise is in place to meet the strategy of the unit.

• Responsible for ensuring that all staff within retail catering are appropriately appraised and developed

• Take responsibility for the management of any staff grievances and disciplinary matters, in line with University policy and procedures • Ensure that effective two way communication takes place throughout all levels of the retail catering operation, and that appropriate arrangements are in place for regular management and team meetings • Undertake all aspects of the role in line with Commercial and Campus Support Services’ and the University’s values and standards, including the Leadership and Management standard.


Career Expectations The University of Leeds is committed to developing its staff. All staff participate in the Staff Review and Development scheme and we continue to work with individuals, supporting them to maximise their potential. Progression to a higher grade is dependent on an individual taking on an increased level of responsibility. Vacancies that arise within the area or across the wider University are advertised on the HR website to allow staff to apply for wider career development opportunities. University Values All staff are expected to operate in line with the University’s values and standards, which work as an integral part of our strategy and set out the principles of how we work together. More information about the University’s strategy and values is available at Commercial and Campus Support Services Values Aligned to the University’s values and standards, Commercial and Campus Support Services have defined four core values that cap- ture the essence of what we represent as a team. More information about Commercial and Campus Support Services vision, culture and values is available at about-us/


• Ability to work collaboratively and across boundaries, with evidence of success in developing strong working relationships and networks with a wide range of internal and external bodies • Ability to continually perform at a high level, demonstrating tenacity, determination, and commitment to achieve results, and react positively to any opposition or conflict • Excellent analytical skills with an ability to solve complex problems using own initiative, sound judgement, and political awareness • Excellent planning and organisational skills with demonstrable experience of managing competing demands in a pressurised environment • Excellent communication and presentation skills with the ability to present complex information clearly across a range of audiences and mediums • Strong influencing and negotiation skills

Essential • Educated to degree level or holding equivalent qualifications/ experience • Significant experience of senior retail catering and/or hospitality operations within a commercial setting • Significant experience of catering and/or hospitality management at a senior level

• Significant experience of providing effective leadership to a large team within a complex environment

• Experience of identifying, developing, and nurturing successful commercial partnerships

• Proven ability to support the development of strategic planning in a complex organisation, and translate organisational strategy into business plans

• Proven ability to manage budgets effectively and generate income

• Commitment to demonstrate behaviours in line with the values of Commercial Services and the University

• Customer and results focused with experience of setting, managing, and achieving key customer and financial targets

• Commitment to continued personal and professional development

• Proven ability to lead and manage change to support an organisation to become more market orientated


• Senior retail experience in a higher education setting

• Significant experience of managing large scale and complex projects within a change environment


wishing to review access to the building are invited to contact the department direct. Additional information may be sought from the Recruitment Officer, email or tel + 44 (0)113 343 1723. Disabled applicants are not obliged to inform employers of their disability but will still be covered by the Equality Act once their disability becomes known. Further information for applicants with disabilities, impairments or health conditions is available in the applicant guidance. HOW TO APPLY For a confidential discussion please contact our advisors Michael Hewlett and David Craven on 0161 638 0936. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than four pages) and supporting cover letter (of not more than two pages) outlining key matching experience and rationale for applying for the post and should be sent to

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION The University offers generous terms and conditions of employment, a wide range of benefits, services, facilities and family friendly policies. Full details are available on the Human Resources web pages accessible at Due to the nature of Retail Catering it is expected that the working hours for this role will be flexible to satisfy business requirements. The postholder is likely to be required to work non-standard days and hours as required by the business. The Partnership The Partnership has been developed by students and staff and describes the mutual expectations of us all as members of the University of Leeds community. More information about the Partnership is available at Disclosure and Barring Service A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check is not required for this position. However, applicants who have unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings, including any pending criminal proceedings must indicate this in the ‘other personal details’ section of the application form and send details to the Recruitment Officer at Disabled Applicants The post is located in the Facilities Directorate which is based in the Facilities Directorate Building in Clobery Steet. Disabled applicants

You can also apply online HERE.

Closing date for applications is Sunday 20 November 2016.

Interviews are expected to be held on Thursday 15 December 2016.

University of Leeds Leeds United kingdom LS2 9JT

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