Trading Manager: Retail & Visitor Catering

  • Competitive
  • Chatham, Kent
  • Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

Do you enjoy leading and inspiring a talented, enthusiastic, passionate team? Are you customer focused, wanting to provide exceptional customer service and entrepreneurial, wanting to exceed profit expectations? If so, this role could be for you.

Permanent Full Time

Hours: an average of 40 hours per week. Working 5 days over 7, including weekends

Salary: competitive plus benefits

Reference: TM/11-19

About Us:

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, managed by Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, is one of the UK’s leading maritime visitor attractions offering a unique visitor experience for around 200,000 visitors per annum. Our Trading Company’s significant profits are a vital revenue stream for the Trust. We are the most complete dockyard from the age of sail anywhere in the world and a place like no other. As part of The Historic Dockyard team you have a unique opportunity to play a vital role in the future of this forward thinking and entrepreneurial organisation.

Our Approach

We believe our Managers should help create and buy into our strategy and values but deliver those via personal commitment and leadership, as if their own. You should have an entrepreneurial and fully invested approach, as happens in other successful businesses, where hands-on leadership and a close working relationship with Directors, drives success.

You will be used to and enjoy the responsibility of making decisions that matter within the operation; taking responsibility for putting our customers first and delivering commercial results. You will be leading the team, keeping them motivated, ensuring they have the knowledge and confidence to maximise commercial opportunities and create the best possible customer experience.

What You’ll be Doing:

• Maximising commercial opportunities within our busy shops and visitor cafés, ensuring our business plan and visitor experience objectives are met.

• Developing an already effective, cohesive & competent team.

• Providing innovation and continuing revitalisation of the offer in our shops and cafés

• Taking an active role in budgeting, forecasting and reporting (including at Board level)

• Ensuring all Trust standards and procedures are met.

Who we are looking for:

We are looking for someone with a proven track record in retail and visitor catering who is driven by commercial objectives and a passion for providing excellent value for money and customer service.

If you are:

• Energetic, enthusiastic and ambitious

• Entrepreneurial, market focused and understand the key business drivers

• Results motivated, profit driven

• A people person with a desire to deliver exceptional customer service

• Pragmatic and realistic

• Full of technical and industry experience

• Capable of progressing and hungry to do so

About You:

• Management experience within a retail, catering and customer facing environment

• A strong leader with proven experience of leading teams

• Have the ability, desire and proven track record to meet and exceed targets, drive sales and create a great experience for visitors

• Strong business acumen combined with an excellent leadership and liaison skills

• Strong retail experience

• Strong food and beverage experience

• Ability to lead, coach and develop the team

• Passionate, with a hands-on approach

• Personal commitment to customer service & quality

• Committed to the development of the business

• Knowledge of the visitor attraction / museum world is a bonus but not essential

Major Purpose

The principal role of the Trading Manager is to maximise commercial opportunities within our busy shops and cafes to ensure our business plan and visitor experience objectives are met. To assist the Director of Trading Services in the planning and delivery of the Trust’s Retail and Visitor Catering operations. To lead on the implementation of agreed strategies and policies, assuring the highest standards of customer service, whilst maximising income and profitability.

Reporting to:

 Director, Trading Services

Responsible for:

 Assistant Retail Manager

 Visitor Catering Senior Supervisors

 Supervisors, team leaders and staff

Close Liaison with the:

 Visitor Experience Manager (in particular, Visitor Arrivals & Front of House)

 Corporate Hospitality Operations Manager & team

 Group Sales Manager & team

 Major Events team

 Visitor Operations Duty Managers

 General Manager (Master Ropemakers Ltd)

 Life Long Learning teams

 Marketing & Communications teams

Key Tasks, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

 To maximise commercial opportunities within the Retail and Visitor Catering operations to ensure our business plan and visitor experience objectives are met.

 To monitor and maximise profitability within Retail and Visitor Catering

 Take an active role in forecasting, budgeting and reporting

 Responsible for pricing to maximise margins and gross profit

 To continue to develop an effective, cohesive & competent team

 Responsible for providing innovation and revitalisation in THD’s service offer

 Ensure all Trust standards are met

 Responsible for implementing all financial procedures as set out by the Trust, within the retail and visitor catering operations, including cash handling

 Ensuring that all financial transactions are accurately recorded and procedures adhered to by all staff

 Assist in developing and then adhere to excellent performance monitoring and reporting procedures that are timely and responsive, enabling quick action to resolve issues or to capitalise on opportunity.

 Responsible for and to play a vital role in managing the day-to-day operation of the retail and visitor catering operations

 Developing the retail and visitor catering business to maximise the use of resources and focus on service, quality and profit


 To develop product and merchandising plans, meeting the needs of visitors, maximising sales / profit and minimising risk through managing stock holding

 Responsible for displaying merchandise in an exciting and effective manner within all shops on site to the required operational standards

 Demonstrate a passion for retailing, merchandising and an understanding of visitors’ needs

 Apply a sound knowledge of current retail / merchandising trends and be proactive in seeking out new, exciting and profitable retail items for sale

 Integrate Master Ropemakers Ltd rope and related products into the sales mix

Visitor Catering

 Responsible for providing a quality, varied and accessible food choice, including provision for those with special dietary requirements, such as gluten free, lactose intolerant, vegan, wheat free and other food based allergies

 To maintain kitchen standards to comply with food hygiene, health and safety legislation and food safety policy to ensure high standards of service and a clean, safe and tidy working environment

 Demonstrate a passion for food and an understanding of visitors’ needs

 Apply a sound knowledge of current food trends and be proactive in developing varied, locally sourced, nutritional and health-conscious menus, occasionally themed

 Keep up to date with food trends and research new ideas around menus, presentation and diets

 Ensure the Mess Deck, Wagon Stop and other ‘pop-up’ catering outlets are a welcoming place for all visitors and all staff engage with visitors in a positive and friendly manner

 Manage catering needs at hospitality functions and events arranged by the Hospitality department, as required


 Provide effective leadership, direction and support to the retail and catering teams, motivating and encouraging staff engagement at all levels and proactively tackling HR-related issues, such as capability concerns, misconduct and absence issues

 Plan and manage work shifts and staffing levels to ensure optimum deployment of staff to meet operational need while controlling costs within agreed staffing budgets

 Develop staffing and operating systems capable of responding to peaks and troughs in demand efficiently and cost effectively

 Ensure high standards are maintained by staff in the areas of:

o Customer service

o Uniform and personal presentation

o Personal and workplace hygiene; and

o Workplace safety

 Take a lead role in recruitment and selection activities, training and development, induction and appraisals

 Provide open, effective and meaningful communication of key issues, updates and good practice methods, acting as a point of liaison between the staff and management team

 Hold regular briefings with direct line reports to facilitate exchanges of information


 Ensure all tasks conducted by the retail and visitor catering teams are carried out effectively, efficiently and on time

 Responsible for adequate staffing cover at all times

 To be part of a rota, including at least one weekend day per week and occasional evening work

 Be SIA trained and licensed as necessary or willing to be trained in these areas

 Support the Trading Team in the setup and operation of retail and visitor catering at events and for the hospitality department, as required

Purchasing and Stock Control

 Responsible for purchasing retail and catering stock, including sourcing new retail stock and visitor catering menu items; to include attending trade shows

 Develop and maintain good relationships with suppliers and negotiate to ensure best possible products at the best possible prices

 Champion the use of locally sourced products

 Oversee ordering, stock control, acceptance of stock and security of stock

 Oversee the timely counting and submissions of stocktakes

 Responsible for retail and catering stock control and adhering to systems and procedures as set out by the Trust


 Demonstrate excellent inter-department communications, lead by example and ensure close working relationships with senior management and all departments

 The duties and responsibilities in this job are not restrictive and the post holder may be required to undertake other duties. This will not substantially change the nature of the post.

Physical Demands

 The Trading Manager will be expected and willing to work a full shift (7 and 8 hours), 5 days out 7, including at least one weekend day

 Expected to work during school holidays, half terms and bank holidays etc

 Will also be required to be flexible in working hours and able to work additional hours as required, such as evenings

 Demands of this role include the ability to be on your feet for much of the working the day / rostered hours and a high level of manual handling and physical dexterity

Core Competencies

 Commercial acumen

 Puts the customer first

 Works well with others

 Confidence in managing a team

 Develops continuously

 Achieves results

To apply

Please send your completed application form and accompanying CV to: [email protected]

Deadline for applications: 6th December 2019

The application form can be found on our website

Please note:Applications received without the completed application form will not be considered.


  • Advertiser: Direct Employer
  • Reference: TM/11-19