Theatre Bars and Cafes Manager - Fixed Term 12 Months

London (Central), London (Greater)
Competitive Salary
25 Jul 2018
22 Aug 2018
Job Function
Facilities Management
Contract Type
Full Time

National Theatre

The National Theatre is dedicated to making the very best theatre and sharing it with as many people as possible. We stage up to 30 productions at our South Bank home each year, ranging from re-imagined classics – such as Greek tragedy and Shakespeare – to modern masterpieces and new work by contemporary writers and theatre-makers. The work we make strives to be as open, as diverse, as collaborative and as national as possible. Much of that new work is researched and developed at the NT Studio: we are committed to nurturing innovative work from new writers, directors, creative artists and performers. Equally, we are committed to education, with a wide-ranging Learning programme for all ages in our new Clore Learning Centre and in schools and communities across the UK.

The National's work is also seen on tour throughout the UK and internationally, and in collaborations and co-productions with regional theatres. Popular shows transfer to the West End and occasionally to Broadway; and through the National Theatre Live programme, we broadcast live performances to 2,000 cinemas in 50 countries around the world. From September 2015, National Theatre: On Demand in Schools will make three acclaimed, curriculum-linked productions free to stream on demand in every secondary school in the country. Online, the NT offers a rich variety of innovative digital content on every aspect of theatre.

We do all we can to keep ticket prices affordable and to reach a wide audience, and use our public funding to maintain artistic risk-taking, accessibility and diversity.

Commercial Operations

The Commercial Operations department comprises Catering, Commercial Events, Retail, House Management, Tours and Visiting and Stage Door, as well as the support teams Support Services, House Keeping, Audience Experience and Finance. These operate as separate areas with their own specific focus, but they share  resources and expertise, supporting one another so that we can offer the best possible, seamless service to our audience and our non-theatre going customers and encourage them to keep coming back. We are committed to:

  • Placing the visitor at the heart of everything we do.
  • Sharing our enthusiasm and passion for what the National Theatre represents.
  • Showstopping eating and shopping, great facilities and staff who care, matching the quality of what’s on stage.

    How do you fit in? A strong customer focus is vital as you will need to provide an exceptional audience experience. Actively promoting the NT’s facilities and attractions to our customers, you will engage with a wide range of people of all ages and backgrounds. They’ll expect the very best from you and so do we.

Job Title:                     Theatre Bars and Cafes Manager 

Responsible To:          Senior Theatre Bars and Cafes Manager

Responsible for:         Customer Service Supervisors and Customer Service Assistants

Purpose of Role: 

A strong Management team with excellent lines of communication is essential in the running of a busy and diverse catering offer situated over a large area and with a long period of trading. A Customer Service team is employed to support the Managers in maximising and building sales, exacting high quality standards in food, drink and Audience Experience. The Assistant Manager plays a pivotal role in developing the relationship between Bars and Cafes Managers, Customer Service Supervisors and the other Commercial Operations Managers to ensure that the division is run efficiently.

The Assistant Manager will perform operational and administrative management functions as well as operational shifts. The position will play a key role in the ongoing development of the offer, with a particular focus on driving presentational standards, the achievement of excellent Audience Experience and maximising the operation’s sales potential by identifying new sales opportunities and ensuring proactive up-selling. Through providing feedback on operational shifts and encouraging clear lines of communication and the sharing of good ideas, the Assistant Manager will help to ensure that a strong supervisory team are supporting the management team and vice versa.

Style of Leadership

Managers and Supervisors working with Commercial Operations are expected to lead, support, coach and motivate their team to help build and deliver the vision for the National Theatre, Commercial Operations and Audience Experience. They will facilitate effective communication within the team and play a leading, proactive role in the development of staff and teams, leading by example at all times.

Specialist Responsibilities

• To provide a highly visible, proactive Front of House presence, greeting and engaging with customers, directing them and providing information and assistance, monitoring service flow and managing queues systems as required.  

• To provide hands on, operational support across outlets.

• To take responsibility for and ensure that the highest standards are achieved at all times with specific reference to service and presentation.

• To lead by example and proactively support the NT’s commitment to providing an outstanding audience experience at all times. This will involve dealing positively and proactively with customer feedback, both verbal and written.

• Alongside the Senior Bars and Cafes Manager, to play an active role in the setting and achievement of sales, cost and net profit targets, whilst maintaining an awareness of and support for the National Theatre’s objectives, including non-financial measures of success.

• To proactively identify new sales opportunities and act on them by setting targets for the team.  

• To deal proactively with maintenance issues and ensuring good housekeeping. This will involve liaising and working closely with the maintenance and support teams.

• To work with the Facilities and Compliance Officer to meet the current legislation regarding the Food Hygiene Laws and the department’s Food Safety and Health & Safety Policies.

• To ensure that outlets have sufficient and appropriate equipment to meet the demands of the business within budgeting constraints.

• To liaise with the Audience Experience team in the effective recruitment, induction and ongoing training of Customer Service staff. The post holder will have some responsibility for aspects of staff management, including appraisals and one-to-one meetings.

• To ensure that staff display knowledge and enthusiasm for the food and drink they sell, to identify training needs and provide on-the-job coaching and training.

• To work closely with the Commercial Operations management team to actively generate and trial new ideas.

Core Responsibilities

• Act as an ambassador for the National Theatre by sharing the enthusiasm and passion it represents.

• Demonstrate consistent high standards of service.

• Always be warm, welcoming and approachable.

• Take professional pride in how you look and how the outlets look.

• Have a thorough working knowledge of all our facilities, services and products, combined with the ability to promote and sell.

• Help audiences and visitors find their way around the local area and get the most out of their visit to the South Bank

• Take time to understand the NT from the customer’s perspective.

• Pre-empt what customers need and provide an informed and tailored level of information and support, always aiming to exceed expectations.

• Always look to find a solution to a problem and focus on the best outcome for the customer.

• Actively seek customer feedback, provide a sufficient response and pass on appropriately.

• Always look for ways to improve and actively feedback constructive ideas.

• Support each other and the whole front of house team to deliver a show-stopping experience regardless of individual specialisms and departmental logistics.

General Responsibilities

• To comply with the National’s policies and general operational standards and procedures at all times (e.g. Licensing Laws, Equal Opportunities, Data Protection, Health and Safety, Food Hygiene etc).

• To be vigilant at all times and know the lines of communication and emergency procedures, taking appropriate action to ensure personal safety and security as well as that of customers and colleagues. 

• To undertake appropriate training and professional development as determined by your managers.

• To undertake any other duties as may be reasonably required for an efficient front of house operation.

Person Specification

Personal skills and behaviours are more important to us than work experience and you must be able to demonstrate the core responsibilities at all times. 

• Proven experience of staff management and leadership is essential.

• Previous catering and/or bar experience is essential.

• A passion for food and service, with knowledge of current industry trends.

• An interest in theatre will be to your advantage as it will help you engage with some of our customers.

• Ability to work a very flexible shift pattern including evenings and weekends.

• Financial awareness including cash handling, reconciliation and high volume sales is essential.

• Some Microsoft Office skills and general administrative skills are essential, as well as attention to details in all areas of the operation.

• Experience and ability of analysing and presenting numerical and qualitative data is essential.

• Ideally you will be a Personal License holder.

• Be able to lead by example in the proactive application of agreed Audience Experience standards and personal appearance and be willing to learn and develop yourself and team members. 

• Excellent, confident communication skills are essential. You will need the ability to communicate clearly and confidently at all levels to both individuals and large groups. 

• You must be an approachable and welcoming person and take initiatives to ensure your customers are having the best possible experience whilst at the NT.

• You will be a highly enthusiastic and motivated team leader who can demonstrate a genuine passion and belief in creating and providing first class customer service alongside your colleagues, and to motivate your team to be the same.

• Cooperation and collaboration skills are essential as you will be expected to be aware of the service the whole NT provides and proactively do your part to make it exceptional.

• You should have a positive and flexible approach to work and be able to adapt very quickly to new information and procedures. The NT is a fast-paced environment and you must be able to take responsibility for remaining updated and knowledgeable

• The ability to work under front line pressure whilst maintaining a professional approach to providing an efficient and effective service at all times.

Outline of Terms and Conditions

TITLE OF POST: Theatre Bars and Cafes Manager

HOURS: 35 hours per week, 5 days out of 7 Monday to Sunday, including early mornings, evenings and late nights. It must be noted that as opening hours are seasonal, a degree of flexibility is expected.           

SALARY: £26,000 pro rata, paid on the 15th of each month.

ANNUAL LEAVE: 28 days in the first year, including bank holidays, pro rata, increasing with length of service.


NOTICE PERIOD: 1 month during probationary period and 3 months thereafter 

PENSION: The National Theatre operates a Stakeholder Pension scheme with Legal & General. If you wish to become a member, you may opt to contribute 4.5%, 6% or 7.5% of basic pay and the National will make a matching contribution. The National also operates an alternative pension scheme with NEST. Full details of these schemes are available from the HR Department.


• Complimentary tickets for performances, subject to availability and staff ticket policy.

• Discount on meals in the National’s restaurants, subject to presentation of a valid staff card and discount policy.

• Discount on books and merchandise from the National’s shops, subject to presentation of a valid staff card and discount policy. 

• Uniform (some posts), staff canteen and other benefits as found in the staff handbook.

• Season ticket loan scheme and cycle-scheme

Application Procedure

Please note that applications can only be considered if they are submitted through the National’s Online Recruitment System and returned by the closing date. If you have any questions please email them to

The National Theatre is committed to being an equal opportunities employer