Head Chef

Job Title: Head Chef

Responsible to: Café Management

Responsible for: Senior Sous Chef, Full Kitchen Brigade, Apprentices

Key Relationships: Senior Management Team of the Estate

Salary: Competitive




In the early 1950’s West Wittering Estate Limited was established by a group of local residents with the objective of:
“The preservation of the beach and waters adjoining the company’s land for the same and peaceful enjoyment of the public and preservation of the rural and undeveloped nature of the company’s property and surroundings”.


Offering wonderful views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs beyond, the natural and unspoilt sandy beach of West Wittering has been a favourite destination for a family day out for generations. The highest water quality and excellent facilities have made it one of the premier Blue Flag beaches in the country.


There has been a café on site since the 1950’s, in recent years a fire resulted in a vastly reduced range of ready prepared and brought in products. After various consultations, plans were approved for the existing facility to be demolished and a facility to be built in a slightly different location. The build ‘of the land not on the land’ is currently underway, with an expected completion date of Autumn 2019.

The new facility capitalises on the outstanding views across this unspoilt landscape. The vision for the new facility is ‘a cosy café in the winter, catering for locals and dog walkers, whilst in the summer a fast turn, high quality, large volume restaurant and grab and go counter’, with a separate beach goods shop and ice cream windows.


Purpose of the Role


The main purpose of this role is to lead a culture of creative excellence in terms both of food product/ service and professional training; ensuring inspirational customer experiences and supporting the strategic management and development of The Beach Café, whilst maintaining exemplary food safety and food hygiene standards.

You will be responsible for the quality, provenance and profitability of The Beach Café food offerings, reflecting the values, standards and ethos of West Wittering Estate.


The Head Chef has full responsibility for the kitchen: for determining and developing menu and sourcing strategies, menus and recipes; purchasing and pricing decisions and the management of kitchen resources and costs will need to be discussed with management; ensuring effective kitchen operations to enable the development and delivery of consistently exceptional food product.





1.  Manage department finances and budgets, identify the management information available in your own area and act credibly on matters that affect business finance.

2.  Contribute to strategic planning and work as a senior manager within the organisation, ensuring that you act in the best interests of the business at all times through understanding the business strategy and how the business fits within the wider hospitality industry and the community in which it operates.

3.  Work within the senior management team to proactively develop and maintain a customer centred approach and drive behavioural change through encouraging others to seek and act on feedback – contributing to discussions and planning across the business and outside of your own department in order to further and benefit the business as a whole and ensuring effective communication at the appropriate level to the senior team at all times, bringing to the attention of the relevant senior manager.

4.  Oversee the effectiveness of all direct reports and ensure consistency, efficiency, professionalism and effective communication to drive a strong cultural belief in the brand and product / service Leadership.

5. Lead by example to promote business and social responsibility and act as a role model to ensure self and team are consistently operating in an empathetic, fair and professional manner, being accountable for the commercial and social success of the company.

6.  Comply with and enforce all company policies, standards and legislative requirements relevant to maintaining effective performance, communication, training and good business reputation; including Food Hygiene, Fire, Health & Safety regulations, HASSAP, COSHH, attending relevant training as required.

7.  Represent West Wittering Estate and our values in your general conduct and in your dealings with customers, trainees, partners, suppliers and others, delivering on West Wittering Estates Core Values of Achievement, Belief, Commitment, Integrity, Passion, Positivity, and Respect.


Stock Management:


1. Through an analytical process of forecasting menu sales items, stock levels are to be maintained at a level to satisfy peak periods, while wastage levels are minimised.

2. A regimented on-site stock management system is to be employed ensuring the asset is always stored appropriately, monitored, dated with U/B dates and rotated accordingly. 

3. All wastage is to be meticulously recorded for accounting purposes.

4. A purchase log is to be used to ensure all purchases are accurately accounted within the relevant accounting period.

5. Timely communication of order purchase values.

6. Deliveries checked for temperature control, quality and accuracy against the original purchase, with deviances noted and communicated with supply chain.

7. A daily/weekly ‘mise en place’ list conceived and managed.

8. A formal monthly stock valuation conducted at the close of every month.

9. Menu cost sheets are to be derived for each menu item and reviewed from time to time, with on-going re-engineering to ensure margins are maintained.


Kitchen Management:


1.  To hold the ‘food vision’ for the company, updating and refreshing the food offering, recipe/menu development – while staying true to the ethos of the business.

2.  Be responsible for a smooth and efficient service, maintaining communication with the Cafe Managers, with a focus on exceptional customer service.

3.  Ensure the kitchen is a secure, safe and inspirational environment for all.

4.  Ensure all the ingredients used in the Cafe comply with the Food Ethos Guidelines and that no ingredients are used unless and until they have been discussed with management.

5.  Ensure all menus are in The Beach Cafe style, in line with our Food Ethos and make the best use of ingredients including consideration of cost, GP, local supply and seasonality.

6.  Ensure that all departments and key personnel are briefed on menu items, communicating all relevant provenance, allergen, nutritional and other distinctive information, especially for new items.

7.  Managing the ordering, storage and rotation of stock in line with company policies and Kitchen Management System to minimise waste and maximise freshness and value of the product, communicating effectively with the Management Team as required.

8.  Identify departmental income streams, cost centres and areas for potential waste, loss and improvement.

9.  Ensure that the Cafe Manager fulfils their responsibilities for maintenance of kitchen equipment and that it is used for the performance of kitchen duties safely and following instructions, ensuring all kitchen staff are trained to operate equipment safely and standards are maintained. This is to be achieved with risk assessments and training manuals

10.  Ensure the Cafe Manager has all necessary and accurate time sheets, stock sheets (using technology and equipment effectively) temperature sheets, wastage sheets for the Kitchen as required.


Food Safety & Health and Safety


1. Maintenance, management and recording of a HACCP system.

2. To ensure any and all relevant risk assessments are created, on file and communicated where appropriate.

3. Accident and near miss recording and reporting.

4. On going training needs analysis of culinary teams, with relevant up to date training planned, costed and presented for sign off.

5. Up to date accurate allergens file, menu and tariff information.

6. Creation and management of daily/weekly/monthly and quarterly cleaning and deep cleaning schedules.


People & Team


1.  Be responsible for developing people strategy and for the recruitment, selection, induction and training of staff and apprentices as and when required.

2.  Set a clear vision for the kitchen, defining success and clear objectives for the team so they know your expectations as a manager and understand what they have to deliver.

3.  Be responsible for undertaking performance reviews as and when required for the kitchen brigade and to monitor all performance objectives set for staff.

4.  Undertake any development, coaching or performance management meetings with staff as and when appropriate.

5.  Liaise with the Café Management in order to complete correct new starter procedures and schedule induction programmes as required.

6.  Manage team to take a pride in their role through demonstrating a consistently positive and professional approach to communication, helping all staff to feel in control and not stressed through everybody working to clear expectations and objectives using great systems and procedures.

7. A professional hands on operator.


Experience and Skills



Progressive career history up to Head/Exec Chef level.

Exposure to a high volume, high quality, fast pace and fresh food environment.

A passion for food and a pride in delivery of great cuisine.

An eye for detail. 

Available to work flexible shift pattern to include weekends and bank holidays.




Work and non-related work experience relevant to the job and organisation

2 years plus of experience working in well-established high quality and fast pace restaurants, running structured well-organised kitchen with great systems and procedures.

A chef with creative flair used to exceptional quality fresh produce – with a thorough knowledge of ingredients and how they should be used.

Understands how seasonality, provenance and environmental factors impact on product and menu.

Leadership and Management experience of a brigade of 10 people.

Ideally with experience at senior chef level –including product development and menu design.

Trying out and reflecting on methods to develop own leadership skills.

Have experience of being able to keep an up to date allergens file, menu and tariff information.

Finance and Business strategy

Experience of managing departmental finance and minimising costs within the business.

Experience of using analysing and acting on management information to drive business / change / improvement.

Understand environmental, legislative and social responsibilities and their impact within hospitality business.

Understand the responsibilities of an employer and the parameters the business works within.


HR & people development


Strong participation in a senior management team.

Experience of and proven ability to lead and rally a team together to inspire them, giving guidance where things have gone wrong and exciting them about the future.

Experience of effectively managing recruitment, induction, team development and succession planning in a hospitality business.

Demonstrate commitment to self-improvement, championing a culture of continual development and progression.

Demonstrate effective methods of communication and leadership that achieve the desired results, providing support and coaching to team members to maximise their performance.

Proven ability to think and work at a strategic level with Senior Management Team.


Qualities, knowledge & skills


Self-starter with excellent and charismatic communication, motivation and leadership skills -proven experience of consistently good communication and engagement with team.

Know all of the culinary aspects of running a kitchen.

Understanding financial, commercial and directional support required to show chef team.

Proven ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with all members of the organisation.

Impeccable organisation and time management skills, able to organise and plan effectively.

Embodies a strong cultural belief in brand, product and service experience.

Ability to identify risks and manage potential situations to minimize the impact on the customer experience and cost to business.

Willingness to keep learning.

Be financially astute in work activities and act credibly on matters that affect business finance.

Applies a customer first approach.


Additional Factors


The successful candidate will need to complete a First Aid Level 3 qualification, Food Hygiene and Fire Safety courses within the workplace. The successful candidate will also be required to ensure staff are trained on Food Hygiene annually.

This job description is a guideline only and is not exhaustive. You may be required to perform other duties which are not expressly listed but are in keeping with the general purpose of your role and we reserve the right to make changes to this job description as appropriate.