Deputy General Manager

Zoo (Banqueting & Hospitality)
03 Jan 2018
31 Jan 2018
Job Function
General Manager
Contract Type
Full Time

CH&Co and its brand divisions are one of the most respected and vibrant, cutting edge companies within the food service sector today. We have a reputation for good food, unrivalled service and a passion for making each and every eating experience a memorable one.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to work for Ampersand, an experienced player specialising in bespoke catering at some of the UK's most iconic venues and visitors attractions.


We are looking for an experienced Deputy General Manager to Lead and develop winning teams and provide exceptional service to our clients for the Events and Hospitality business at ZSL London Zoo. The world famous conservation charity and visitor attraction dedicated to the world wide protection of animals and their habitats offers unique spaces and unforgettable experiences for events with over twelve venues across 36 acres of zoological gardens. Events range from 20 – 700 guests including meetings, conferences, dinners, Summer parties, Christmas parties, private events and weddings.

The role is responsible for supporting the General Manager in the day to day operation of the ZSL Events & Hospitality business. As a senior manager, you will be required to drive standards and provide leadership and support to a large service-orientated team. Planning and co-ordinating the delivery of a high volume commercial events business with events ranging from 20 – 700 guests is a key aspect of the role. Building and maintaining positive relationships with key internal stakeholders, managing cost control, operational efficiencies and developing new best practices are key accountabilities. Experience of maintaining due diligence compliance of a food and beverage business, knowledge of health and safety, finance, management reporting and human resources are highly desirable. Innovation with food and beverage development and experience of supporting sales would be advantageous. This is a broad and exciting role for an ambitious candidate looking to make a positive impact.

Ampersand are looking for a proven, high performer with relevant experience and a passion for animals, events and food to join our customer-focused team.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Unit Operations
• Manage client and contractual relationships effectively in a highly commercial manner ensuring that legal and company requirements are adhered to in respect of Hygiene, Health & Safety, Employment Law, and Food Safety Law for all staff, visitors and customers.
• Ensure that all the unit standards across each department within the operation, are accurate and in accordance with client and CH&Co policies and procedures
• Drive solutions that exceed new and existing customer requirements and are built around a commitment to continuous improvement, a drive for greater efficiency and operational excellence.
• Ensure all services are provided as agreed within the client contract.
• Organise work throughout the unit in a manner that facilitates efficient customer service and profitable operations.
• Ensure that the site implements all relevant Health & Safety procedures, including HACCP, Risk Assessments, accident and incident reporting and Health & Safety training.
• Ensure that all appropriate Health & Safety Information, instruction, training and supervision is provided to all employees to enable them to carry out their work safely and effectively.
• Support the review of contract performance, identify improvements and ensure contract compliance to exceed client and customer expectations.
• To liaise with internal teams to ensure the effective maintenance, decoration and upkeep of commercial venues, including ensuring that equipment is in good working order and chasing repairs, maintenance and replacement as necessary.
• To identify investment requirements to ensure venues stay commercially viable.
• Be prepared to fully enhance existing service offers, drive service initiatives and take a full and supportive part in wider CH&Co teams, groups and study teams to develop better ways of working and share knowledge and experience and build more effective work processes
• To support the Operations Director in the absence of the Unit Manager
• To be flexible and assist with any other reasonable request when required

Managing Events
• To lead a team dedicated to the operational delivery of private and corporate hire events
• To personally mange large and small scale events, including all aspects of liaison with the client, suppliers and internal teams to ensure successful running of the event.
• To accurately produce, maintain and update operations manuals, schedules, event plans, briefings and budgets as necessary.
• To effectively develop new practices and systems to improve efficiencies and to maximise profits for commercial events.
• Collate the function sheets for the kitchen and back of house department for all tastings and events.
• Ensure that staff from nominated suppliers are booked in a timely fashion and within the budgets set out in the proposal document.
• Ensure all the equipment agreed with the client is ordered and placed for all events within the budget set out in the proposal document.
• Ensure that all relevant drinks are ordered for events based on the client’s needs
• Produce full RAMS for all events.
• Onsite management of the event staff (front and back of house), giving them an accurate briefing or the event.
• Ensure that all operational packs are collated at the end of the event that would include, timesheets, drinks consumption, hire sheets in preparation for billing.
• Close all live documentation (staff bookings) on line in preparation for billing.
• Escalate any staffing issues, hire issues directly with the supplier giving constructive feedback.
• Run through billing for final sign off with Group GM and finance teams.

Sales and Business Development
• To build good relationships with event clients and to deliver first-class events that meet or exceed event client expectations.
• Have excellent knowledge of the site, venues, unique selling points and the f&b offering.
• To cover for the Sales Team as and when required.
• Ensure any enquiries handled are dealt with according to sales standards and are processed through the sites event software system and followed up.
• Create quotes, proposals for clients for events ensuring that:
o Costs are accurate and company policy followed
o Profit margins are maintained
o Quality is not compromised
o The client’s requirements are met
o The Ampersand brand is not diluted in any way
o Record commissions on the allocated tracker document
• Conduct and support show rounds and food tastings that are organised and set up to company standards.
• Create packages and f&b menu innovation that drives profit and is consistent with CH&Co Group and ZSL London Zoo conservation and environmental standards.
• Maintain awareness of the market and industry trends through benchmarking and mystery shopping.
• Organise and host various client familiarisation events in efforts to create new business .

Relationship Management
• Communicate and provide information to internal departments and colleagues to assist and enable sales activities to run smoothly.
• Build and maintain strong relationships with colleagues and clients both internal and external.
• Attend events meetings with the operations teams.
• Represent the Sales team in an efficient, friendly and organised manner.
• Establish any other cross-business within organisation.

Team Management
• To successfully lead, recruit, train, retain, manage and motivate a team of permanent and casual staff, ensuring annual performance reviews are carried out in accordance with policy.
• To effectively line manage the day-to-day performance and development of direct reports, ensuring consistency of delivery.
• Support the reduction of all absences and maintain regular updates on actions taken with your line manager and ensure appropriate rosters and labour management processes are in place; challenge and continually review labour structures and ratios.
• Support the review of all labour costs and ensure that recruitment is reviewed in line with current business requirements. Ensure recruitment, induction, training, performance management, development and discipline of all employees occurs in the unit.
• To contribute towards an entrepreneurial and customer focused team culture and lead by example in provide guidance, support and development to direct reports through appropriate performance management techniques.
• To allocate and schedule work amongst direct reports to ensure effective delivery for clients and to Ampersand and ZSL standards
• Lead by example, ensuring all employees adhere to the correct standards of dress and appearance as contractually agreed with the client.
• Assist with the development of future budget planning and delivery.
• Maximise profit conversion through ensuring tight control of resources and cash control.
• Ensure every possible effort is made to achieve unit turnover and profit targets.
• To initiate and implement action plans appropriate to the achievement of the unit budget.
• Co-ordinate post event P&L ensuring that the quoted budgets are met.
• Ensure all deposits are sent and received with the signed T&C from the client.
• Ensure final billing / invoice is sent to the client in the agreed time frame.

Ad Hoc Projects
• To actively take part in ad hoc projects as and when required.
• To support other units across the CH&Co Group.

Skills and Experience

Essential Extensive experience managing private and corporate events in a similar setting
Successful track record leading, coaching and motivating an f&b operation and/or venue events team
Successful track record managing external suppliers and contractors
Excellent customer service skills
Excellent communication, written and verbal skills
Excellent negotiation skills
Track record of working to and delivering financial targets
Ability to use computerised diary booking systems
Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends on a regular basis
Desirable Talent for identifying creative solutions to problems
Highly numerate and experienced devising and managing budgets effectively
A passion for animals and food

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