Visitor Services Manager - Food & Beverage

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £29,217 - £32,153 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Brodie Castle


The Food & Beverage Manager is responsible for the full catering operation within Brodie Castle & Estate. This is currently 2 distinct catering outlets, one located in the Castle serving a traditional café menu, with c50 covers indoor seating and c60 covers of outside seating. The other catering outlet is located within Playful Garden with a distinct family aimed, sweet treats offer. This outlet has c60 covers indoor and currently c30 outside covers, although this has potential to be much larger. There are also 2 mobile catering units on site, these provide catering for larger events and again have potential for further use. The Catering Manager will be expected to develop the offers of all outlets to best suit the audience, maximise income potential and visitor experience within these settings. The Estate also hosts corporate events and weddings and contains 4 holiday cottages. The role can develop offers around these areas to further deliver income and experience.

Brodie Castle is set within a 75 acre “policies” estate, it is the ancestral home of the Brodies of Brodie and consists of a number of listed buildings including the main 16th century Z plan Castle, stables, walled garden, gate houses and gardeners bothy, as well as a number of estate houses currently used as holiday lets. The Castle consists of dressed rooms used as a guided tour visitor experience and houses a significant collection. Within the Castle is the main catering outlet and retail facility as well as housing the main estate offices. There is also the Lairds wing, a luxury 7-bedroom holiday let within the Castle.

The wider estate consists of a nationally significant designed landscape with Victorian Shrubbery, tree lined avenues, commercial forestry, agricultural land, and mature mixed woodlands surrounding a manmade lake. Within the old walled garden is a Playful Garden, consisting of imaginative play area, formal gardens, and the national daffodil collection.


The purpose of the role is to support the conservation of Brodie Castle & Estate by generating income through food and beverage operations whilst delivering the highest standard of visitor experience for all visitors and guests. This will be achieved by maintaining the highest standards of conservation and adhering to regional and national strategies, policies, and procedures.


Visitor Catering Experience
• Overall responsibility for the management and delivery of the catering facilities at Brodie Castle & Estate. This includes, but is not limited to, the Castle Café, Playful Garden Pavilion and 2 mobile catering units
• Ensuring innovative ideas and current trends in catering are constantly being delivered in all outlets on site
• Setting objectives and being responsible for the overall, day-to-day running of the catering operations
• Leading and managing a team of staff; managing performance, recognising training needs and potential as appropriate
• Managing budgets – ensuring that, as a minimum, the financial targets agreed with, in line with the budget are met
• Devising, costing and sourcing menu items and consistently looking at ways of maximising income through effective purchasing and creative merchandising
• Adhering to the sale of alcohol legislation, being a Premises Manager
• Regularly monitoring customer feedback, Mystery Visitor and Visit Scotland Audits and develop suitable action plans based on the results
• Being visitor/customer focused by being visible, approachable, and quick to exceed expectations in fulfilling customer needs

Health & Safety, Food Safety, the Environment
• Ensuring that the operation meets statutory requirements of Health and Safety, Food Safety and Environmental legislations and procedures
• Conducting Food Safety and Health and Safety Risk Assessments and ensuring that all standards and procedures with regards to Hygiene and Safety are established and
• Recording and reporting all accidents within the location, adhering to location and company procedures
• Ensuring all equipment is well maintained and is in good working order
• Making recommendations for renewal and replacement of equipment when required.
• Establishing and maintaining location cleaning schedules
• Ensuring that all Trust procedures and work instructions are fully understood and practiced by all employees
• Promoting and encouraging environmental improvement initiatives as appropriate within the business

General Responsibilities
• Managing food and beverage operations including the following:
o staff and volunteers (recruitment, induction, development, performance management) such that they are fully equipped and motivated to undertake their duties to the required Trust standards.
o budgets (setting, phasing, monitoring, pro-active and re-active adjustments) such that finances are sustainable within the context of the wider property budgets.
o health, safety and the environment in line with stated Trust policies and approaches to ensure the health and welfare of staff/volunteers and visitors,
o recognition of the Trust’s Environmental Policy with respect to sustainable activities, including energy and water use, recycling, use of “environmentally-friendly” products for e.g. cleaning regimes, food-miles and waste etc.
o daily, weekly, yearly and longer-term operational workplans and reporting in the context of the properties’ statements of significance, annual operating plans and action plans (and contribution to these action plans) to ensure that activities are prioritised and planned to optimise the use of resources;
o administration to enable all activities within the post holders’ remit to be undertaken and recorded efficiently within Trust policies and procedures.
• Undertake other duties as and when required to support the overall operation of Brodie Castle & Estate as instructed by the Operations Manager. This will include regular weekends as Duty Manager for the property.


People Management
• Line manager of a Catering Supervisor and seasonal Visitor Service Assistants
• Will work closely with other property colleagues and will have regular interaction with other technical/specialist advisory colleagues based in other locations and departments
• Will have regular (daily) interaction with members of the public of all ages and abilities
• Will have frequent interaction with suppliers and contractors

Finance Management
• Is a budget-holder, accountable for the food and beverage operations and budgets; combined budgeted income of more than £300,000 per year plus food and beverage income from events
• Will regularly use computerized finance system for the raising of purchase orders for the supply of goods and service, producing finance reports, monitoring, and setting of revenue budgets and managing capital project work

• A significant amount of time spent in the role is non-desk-based and the role-holder can expect to be actively present in most areas of the Castle throughout a working day (as well as, on occasion, being at other parts of the property and off-site for meetings etc.
• Will regularly use a wide range of ICT equipment including two-way radio, mobile phone, land-line phone, email, scanner, laptop/PC, printer etc.
• Will be required to work flexible working patterns and hours including evenings, weekends, and public holidays. As part of the role and as a senior member of the team, there will be an expectation that the post holder would attend work at short notice if operational needs demand and circumstances allow)
• Required to be the Premises License Holder as per the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005


The above outlines the key skills the post-holder will need to possess and exercise. In addition, either knowledge of or experience in the following is required:

• Experience of catering management
• Used to an ethos of target-driven assessment, with demonstration of results
• Significant previous experience in a customer facing, service environment
• Significant experience managing, leading, coordinating and developing a team with varying remits and professional competences
• Previous experience of developing projects for specific areas of work/ improvement
• Demonstrable skills in successful budget and financial management, combined with clear evidence of commercial awareness and previous sales experience
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and confidence in dealing with a wide range of staff, visitors and other stakeholders, with a friendly, confident manner
• Experience in managing people and projects within a complex stakeholder environment.
• Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office applications: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Word
• Ability to manage time efficiently and effectively in an environment of changing priorities
• To hold, or, have the ability and willingness to hold a Scottish Personal Licence Holder’s Certificate and Personal Licence
• A full clean driving license valid for the UK and access to a vehicle suitable for use on Trust business (with appropriate business insurance)

• An understanding and experience of food and beverage operations within an historic/heritage environment
• A genuine understanding of, and belief in, the work of the National Trust for Scotland
• A post-graduate management qualification or equivalent experience

Application Deadline: Friday 30/12/2022