We're hiring: Head Chef

We're looking for a talented Head Chef with a proven track record as a chef, and has a real passion for the craft of cooking. This position is within a school for young people with special needs, where children may have a complex relationship with food. Our aim is to create a nutritious offering that considers taste, textures and colours of the food in order that the children enjoy the experience of eating.

Role:  Head Chef - School
Reporting to: Operations Manager
Salary:  £12per hour, £16,560 per annum
Contract: Permanent (46 weeks per year: term-time plus some days during holidays)
Hours: 30 hours per week (07.30 – 14.00 Monday-Friday)

Role purpose: To prepare, cook and serve nutritious meals to satisfy the needs of children with special diets and allergies.  To further develop and deliver an innovative, high quality catering service to the school, which meets the specific needs of the client and customers, ensuring that the highest standards of customer service and satisfaction are maintained at all times.

Role and responsibilities:

  • To work closely with the school’s Senior Management Team to develop an innovative and bespoke catering service to satisfy the demanding needs of the unique customer groups and individuals at the school.
  • To develop, adapt and continuously improve the services offered to reflect the specific needs of customers as a whole and as individuals through the introduction of enhanced service options.
  • To employ best catering practices and disciplines to develop service solutions to meet specific needs and anticipate future needs to increase uptake of services to all service groups, both within the school community and external visitors to / user of the school and its facilities.
  • To work closely and communicate regularly with the school and the lunch assistants to ensure that the catering service provision actively supports the educational and developmental needs of the school and its pupils.
  • To organise and manage all aspect of the food service experience, including both the food production / service aspect and the dining room supervisory aspect including line managing client lunchtime supervisory staff when required.
  • To manage all aspects of budgetary control, ensuring that food production and service processes meet financial and operational targets.
  • To maintain optimum stock levels and to minimise waste through efficient, cost effective purchasing and best practices in stock rotation and control, in accordance with established policies.
  • To manage the small team of Catering Assistants to encourage staff to achieve their full potential. To conduct annual appraisals with staff, identifying personal development plans.
  • To ensure that the service operates in a manner which, at all times, demonstrates due diligence to the relevant Health & Safety, Food Hygiene and other statutory legislation and to comply at all times with all company codes of conduct. To maintain system checks and monitor compliance to all legislation, and to address all instances of non-compliance.
  • To maintain and monitor daily and periodical cleaning schedules and deep clean programmes, ensuring that these do not impinge on the effectiveness of the service and that the highest standards of cleanliness are maintained at all times.
  • To monitor the efficient maintenance of equipment allowing all equipment to function properly. To report all breakdowns immediately.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the level of the post that may be allocated by City Catering Southampton management after consultation with the postholder.


The postholder must have the ability to understand the needs of a multi-racial society and be prepared to implement the Company’s Equal Opportunities Policy at a level appropriate to the job, and must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the Company’s Equal Opportunities Policy.

The postholder is required to be familiar with the Company’s Health and Safety Policy and be aware of and observe any part of the policy related specifically to the duties and responsibilities of the post.