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Head of Catering

Tonbridge School
An annual salary of £50-60k, dependant on skills and experience.
Closing date
4 Oct 2021

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Job Title:                      HEAD OF CATERING
Reporting to:              COMMERCIAL & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Main Purpose:         To manage a high-quality catering service for the School community, including boys, staff and guests. To provide exceptional catering to our external users, including functions, weddings and residential guests.  

Tonbridge School wishes to appoint a Head of Catering to start in January 2022 to lead the development and operation of the catering service.

Tonbridge School employs over 800 staff in both academic and support staff positions. Highly qualified and committed teaching staff help the School to achieve consistent academic success, while also providing excellent pastoral care and being actively involved in co-curricular activities such as sport and music. There are also a wide range of positions within the support staff, including administrators, sports coaches, technical staff, catering and domestic roles.

The Head of Catering is a key support staff role, who oversees a team of over 100 staff, providing first class catering for our boys and the school’s guests throughout the term. School catering is unique, offering in-house dining for 7 boarding houses, with the remainder dining centrally (the Orchard Centre). There are a total of 10 kitchens and 14 dining areas.  In addition, the team caters for all types of events, including weddings, meetings and function-dining. The school hosts residential guests during the holidays, which are supported centrally by the catering team. 

With a diverse team and service, spread across many locations, the Head of Catering must thrive on diversity and have the flexibility to deliver in a challenging setting.


1)    To establish the strategic vision for the department, and to lead the team in the delivery of that service.

 2)    To manage the catering team, to achieve a high-quality service for the School community and external guests/functions.

3)    To create an environment of innovation and continuous development, which establishes Tonbridge School catering as a leader in its field.

4)    To coordinate the ‘Evolve’ project to improve the infrastructure, presentation and food quality across the school.

5)    To liaise with the Deputy Catering Manager and Executive Head Chefs, on the development and delivery of new menus, including ingredients, presentation and tasting.

6)    Liaise with senior academic and support staff managers, including the Headmaster, Housemasters, Deputy Head (Pastoral) and the School’s Events’ Manager.

7)    To support the operation of the department with the Deputy Catering Manager, to include ordering/cost control, suppliers, operating procedures, food hygiene standards and licensing.

8)    To make regular visits to all catering locations to assess all standards including quality of meals and operations.

9)    To establish a training plan for the team, to support the department in the delivery of a continuously developing and evolving service.

10) To produce and agree the annual catering budget with colleagues to include capital, equipment and revenue priorities.

11) To coordinate feedback from boys (food committees) and other clients across the service.

12) To manage the school’s cafés and tuck-shops and support the development of the Cookery classroom as required.

13) To undertake any other duties as may be reasonably required by the Commercial & Operations Director.


The successful candidate must maintain the confidentiality of information regarding the School, its staff and its business. Information must not be communicated to other persons either in or outside the School except in the recognised course of their duties.


·         Management and leadership ability with experience in managing high performing teams and financial understanding and business acumen.

·         An exceptional communicator able to operate and empathise with stakeholders and teams to influence and gain commitment to objectives

·         Capacity for hard work including an ability to think and work calmly under pressure and to meet deadlines.

·         Planning and organisational skills with the ability to manage multiple projects.

·         Ability to work and communicate with a wide range of people and departments within the School.

·         A professional and innovative approach whilst respectful of tradition.

·         A positive attitude and flexibility to contribute individually and as a member of support staff management.

·         Energetic, committed and enthusiastic, pro-active, efficient, reliable with integrity.

·         Good IT skills.

·         Personal commitment to continuing professional development.


·         Desirable Management experience in premium settings

·         Proven line management and successful budgeting responsibility.

·         Experience of operating at a senior level in a high-level service sector.

·         Training in Safeguarding and Child Protection; COSHH; First Aid.


·         Educated to degree level or industry equivalent standards (desirable, not essential).

·         Qualifications in Catering and/or Event Management preferred.

·         A good general education.


The post is a full-time all year-round position with no set hours of work. To support the full operation and demands of the School, the hours and days will need to include some evenings, weekends and bank holidays. There will be a need for flexibility in this respect.


·         An annual salary of £50-60k, dependant on skills and experience.

Generous benefits package including:

·         25 days holiday plus bank holidays per annum

·         CARE Pension Scheme

·         Private Medical Insurance

·         Lunch provided free of charge during term-time

·         Fees remission (after three years’ service)

·         Sports Centre membership (staff rates)


All CVs, applications and questions can be sent to the Schools’ Catering Consultant via email or via post to:

Chris Stanley, ISCC, The Barns, Edgerley, Shropshire, SY10 8EN


Closing Date for Applications:  18th October 2021 at 15:00

Interviews to be held:  Tues 26th Oct & Wed 27th Oct

Additionally, full details and an application pack may be found on the Employment Opportunities page of the Tonbridge School website. contact-us/employment-opportunities/.

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