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.

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