Catering Manager

Organisation: The Abbotsford Trust

Salary: £15.38/hour (pro rata f/t £27,991 – Grade 5, spine point 13)

Location: Melrose

Job Title: Catering Manager

Location: Abbotsford, Melrose

Reporting to: Commercial Manager

Status: 35 hours per week – 5 days over 7 days (plus additional hours as agreed). The post holder will be expected to work flexibly within the opening hours of the operation which includes weekend working and occasional evening work.

Salary: £15.38/hour (pro rata f/t £27,991 – Grade 5, spine point 13)

Employee Benefits  

Pension contributions matched up to 4% of salary.  


Free parking – enjoy free family walks any time at Abbotsford.  

Staff discounts in our shop, café, and public events.  


Abbotsford was designed and built by Sir Walter Scott as both his home and the location for his extensive collection of books and historical memorabilia, and was first opened to the public in 1833, five months after his death. After the death of his last descendent in residence, Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott, in 2004, The Abbotsford Trust was created to preserve, protect, and promote not only the house, but also the life and works of Sir Walter. Abbotsford is considered to be one of the most important heritage sites in Scotland.

The Visitor Centre welcomes some 94,000 people through its doors every year, the majority of whom will come to the café during their visit. Open 10am to 5pm in high season, and 10am to 4pm in low season, Ochiltree’s Café and its outdoor Horsebox serve tourists, coach groups, local residents and dog walkers of all ages year-round. The café at Abbotsford came in-house in 2023, having previously been contracted out to a management company. Catering services for private events and the 5 star luxury self catering Hope Scott Wing is provided by external caterers, who on occasion may require limited use of kitchen facilities.

Job Purpose

Responsible for achieving the commercial and service objectives for catering at Abbotsford

Responsible for achieving financial targets monitored via key performance indicators including total sales, gross profit on sales, and full cost management in all areas

The management of all functions of the café catering operation at Abbotsford including management of staff, resources, business development, customer satisfaction and quality standards

Scope and Accountability

The Catering Manager reports directly to the Commercial Manager and is responsible for achieving the objectives of the catering plan. They are responsible for the following resources:

Annual turnover in the region of £400,000 with a target profit to be agreed annually

All purchasing and staff costs

All catering staff; kitchens and front of house

All catering health and safety, and food hygiene requirements

Key Responsibilities

Lead on overall food strategy for the operation; menu development and innovation in all food offers with the support of the Kitchen Lead and the Commercial Manager

Ensure seasonality in menus and a variety of choice for the range of customers at Ochiltrees

Develop and monitor supply chain to ensure excellent quality and consistency of products, following best practice and systems in purchasing

Monitor food cost, control food waste and manage discrepancies in gross profit achievement

Support the kitchen to ensure all food is presented for service in a timely manner

Ensure staff are briefed about menus, allergens, and other relevant information

Develop menus as required for private hires, events, and any other F&B requirements

Ensure that services are delivered with a customer focused ethos

Support kitchen team to develop cost controls and standard recipes

People Management – Responsibilities

Develop training and development plan for catering staff and monitor delivery and completion of individual training plans

Build and maintain good working relationships with colleagues within the wider organisation

Creates a working atmosphere which motivates and encourages all members of staff to perform to the best of their abilities

Systems and Processes – Responsibilities

Set, work to, and be able to evaluate budgets for sales performance, monitoring turnover and costs and responding quickly to variances in performance, implementing corrective action where necessary

Manage the day-to-day administration of the operation ensuring systems compliance; development of Standard Operating Procedures to support this

Lead on food safety with the support of the Kitchen Lead in line with current legislation; ensure completion of daily and other due diligence requirements

Oversee catering Health and Safety requirements, in accordance with risk assessments and in line with current legislation

Oversee kitchen and front of house maintenance requirements

Ensure daily and weekly cleaning duties are undertaken and due diligence paperwork completed

Responsible for the control of stock rotation and wastage

Ensure regular review of supply chain and prices into unit

Comply with, and ensure compliance with, all Abbotsford policies and procedures

Ensure services meet Health and Safety standards established by Abbotsford

Other Responsibilities

Contribute to the wider Abbotsford marketing strategy and development of marketing initiatives including a catering-specific marketing plan and associated collateral

Monitoring the effectiveness of catering marketing activity and responding accordingly, demonstrating a full understanding of the customer base

This job description is indicative of the nature and level of responsibility associated with the job. It is not exhaustive and there may be a requirement to undertake such other duties as may be required to meet the needs of Abbotsford

Person Specification

Knowledge and Experience


Food safety qualification level 3 (intermediate)

Management experience in a customer focussed hospitality/cafe environment (at least 2 years)

Experience of managing operational catering functions of quality, process, ordering, stock-control etc

Experience in menu planning and design

Experience of managing budgets and financial procedures

Experience of staff management including appraisals, training, and development


Formal management/catering qualification

Formal training to assist in delivery of staff training e.g., “Train the Trainer”

Experience in mobilising a new hospitality business

Skills and Abilities


Ability to motivate others and to manage conflict effectively

Ability to respond positively to a pressurised environment and adopt a positive approach to problem solving; making contingency plans as needed

Excellent written and verbal communication skills including reporting skills

IT skills including Excel and Word

Personal Qualities

Commitment to the Abbotsford Trust’s mission, vision and values

Commitment to Equality and Diversity and understanding of how they may apply within own role and customer relations

Ability to work weekends, bank holidays and occasional evenings as required

Please apply by sending a CV and covering letter to

Application Deadline: Friday 17/11/2023