Head of Visitor Services

Head of Visitor Services

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CAT seeks a Head of our Visitors service to lead day-to-day operations with a focus of achieving high levels of service and profitability in the accommodation, catering, retail and WISE reception functions.

About CAT

CAT is an educational charity dedicated to researching and communicating positive solutions for environmental change.

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In this challenging and rewarding role, you will lead staff teams across CAT’s accommodation, catering, retail and WISE reception functions, ensuring that visitors and those who do business with CAT across this remit, receive high standards of customer service. You will be expected to maintain the café’s 5-star rating, which includes running the café as a vegetarian outlet and to work to obtain a similar rating for our accommodation.

Job Details:

  • Salary: £32, 000 to £40,000 per annum, pro rata depending on skills, qualifications, capabilities and experience
  • Full time (37.5 hours per week)
  • Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer
  • Working Days: Working 5 days out of 7 (including weekend days and evening hours where
    needed to fulfil the role)
  • Closing date for applications: Midnight 23rd August
  • Send completed applications as a pdf to vacancy@cat.org.uk
  • Interviews begin week commencing 2 September

Principle Responsibilities

Ensuring high levels of customer service and satisfaction

  • Ensure consistently high standards of customer care and presentation throughout CAT’s front of house operations.
  • Working with managers throughout the organisation, ensure that customers receive a positive service that is integrated and effective across CAT’s functions.
  • Review and develop systems for internal and external catering and accommodation bookings, reception services and events management, ensuring clear and effective internal communication.
  • Oversee facilities management, including high standards of housekeeping and the smooth management of teaching/conference space.
  • Take responsibility for ensuring the delivery of consistently high standards of health and hygiene in CAT’s café and catering operations.
  • Devise and oversee staff training programmes and performance monitoring to support the above.
  • Take responsibility for facilities management across the CAT site, working closely with the Head of Eco Centre, who has responsibility for managing and developing site infrastructure.
  • Working collaboratively with the Head of Eco Centre and front of house managers, take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the CAT site, with a particular view to the visitor experience and accounting for the nature of running a facility, operating seven days per week, with several functions, often running outside normal working hours.
  • Work with the Head of Eco Centre to ensure high standards of health and safety relating to front of house operations.
  • Working closely with the Catering Manager, Assistant Hospitality Manager and Retail & VC Manager, ensuring effective and engaging management of staff within the department, including effective and efficient planning and communication with staff in general on operations issues.
  • Support the catering and accommodation teams with hands-on delivery of functions as needed, particularly in relation to managing big events.

Growing income and improving margins

  • Working with the Director of Finance and Operations, identify, optimise, and manage budgets and financial planning, including margins and profitability for the café, accommodation and retail functions.
  • Ensure an effective staffing model which meets the needs of a variety of customer types, addresses the peaks and troughs of business and covers contingencies.
  • Review and develop the catering, accommodation and retail offers to meet the needs of diverse customer types and take account of new market opportunities.
  • Maintain an ethical trading policy and grow business in a way that harnesses and promotes CAT’s identity in demonstrating sustainability.
  • Working with the Head of Development to identify opportunities for building CAT’s trading brand, including optimising growth of its mail order business and increasing cross-selling.
  • Working with the Head of Eco Centre, develop plans for the refurbishment and upgrading of accommodation and conference facilities, in line with the needs of customers and business opportunities.
  • Manage competing demands for accommodation and teaching/conference space, ensuring optimum use.
  • Maximise business from existing customer bases such as CAT students and short course participants.
  • Drive the growth and commerciality of events and external venue and accommodation bookings, working with the marketing team to develop a strategy for this.
  • Continually review pricing in line with customer feedback, market demand and CAT’s overall business model to optimise profitability.
  • Manage relationships with stakeholders and suppliers to support the profitable running of CAT’s catering, accommodation and retail business.


  • As part of the Senior Management Team, contribute to the overall strategic development, success, and profile of CAT during a period of change and growth.
  • Any other appropriate duties as defined by the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Monitor café and shop stock levels, addressing any issues of slow moving or obsolete stock.


  • Background and track record in hospitality management from at least a similar sized operation.
  • Proven and engaging leadership and team building skills, including the ability to harness and steer the efforts and knowledge of a committed group of staff, while leading them through a period of change.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills – able to engage effectively with a wide range of customers and stakeholders.
  • Evidence of ability to develop and implement clear business systems, internal communications, and service improvements.
  • Able to manage and prioritise multiple work areas, and resolve problems.
  • Proven track record in developing and managing profitability and commercial opportunities.
  • Knowledge of health and hygiene and record of ensuring compliance with expected standards.
  • Interest in environmental and sustainability issues.

To view job description and person criteria, please download below

Head of Visitor Services Job Description

Please read the documents below before completing your application: