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Front of House Assistant
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF35514

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 28/06/2021

Job live date: 28/05/2021

Salary: £16,736-£17,046 per annum

Employment type: AOS-Manual

Department: Campus Commerce

Division: Catering Hotel & Conference Services

Hours per week: 36

Employment Basis/Type: Full time, Permanent

We are different so forget any ideas of what you think we do….

We are looking for new team members who share our love and passion for great coffee and service to join us in our journey to create the most satisfying coffee shop experience. We create a freshness to our service that was described as ‘Remarkable’ by Radio 4’s Food Programme after they visited us. The love of coffee and food is in the DNA of the University, as a global leader in teaching and research in and around Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Sustainability as well as having our own farms, that supply our kitchens. We are following an ambitious vision to be the best.

We are committed to the 24 Principles of Menus of Change guiding our thinking around nutrition and sustainability and are the first European Member of the Menus of Change Universities Research Collaborative (MCURC). MCURC is a group of 70 like-minded Universities committed to using academic and operational research to improve the health of individuals and the planet.

We are a small team spread over 10 cafes located across the University estate. Each site has its own style and we encourage everyone to contribute to the up-coming menus and looking forward to holding development days where your creativity is only limited by your mind! All our colleagues play an equally important part in our operations, regardless of their role, including a large number of students working for us.

You will have:
•    Certification of Basic Food Safety or higher
•    Knowledge of retail coffee environments 
•    Ability to cope with varying workloads whilst remaining calm and focused
•    Good verbal and written communications skills
•    Excellent Customer Service focus

We understand that application processes can be time consuming and off putting so our application form is quick and easy to complete, taking no more than 30 minutes of your time. You’ll need to write two or three paragraphs before starting the application form telling us about your passion for great coffee and great service and anything else you feel would be of interest to us, to copy and paste into the application form as you complete it. If you don’t have formal qualifications please tell us about your experience around providing great service in a café environment, at home or at work or anything else that you think is relevant.

If your initial application is successful, the next stage is an informal 30 minute discussion via Microsoft Teams (free to download) with you. This is to understand your journey so far and for you to find out more about us, so a great opportunity to ask whatever you wish. We don’t expect or want you to prepare answers for this as we aren’t asking interview style questions, you don’t need to dress up and we aren’t looking to catch you out in anyway. 

The final stage is for you to come in and work in one of our busy cafes for around 4 hours to see how you work as part of a team and assess your ability around coping with orders and dealing with our customers. Our friendly team will make you feel welcome and support you during this. Again, we aren’t looking to catch you out, we solely focussed on your ability to work as part of a team and your ability to take on board the ideas we put to you. 

We are a diverse team and welcome applications from all.

Our cafes operate between 7:30am to 10:30pm, seven days per week, for 31 weeks of the year (term time), we generally don’t permit holiday to be taken during this period unless for your birthday, school half terms, eloping etc… Outside of term time (21 weeks) we are quieter and encourage holidays to be taken. We pay additional top-ups to monthly pay for early morning, evening and weekend working.

Interview date w/c 12th July 2021

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Retail Manager

Contact role:

Head of Retail and Hospitality

Contact name:

Gary Adams

Contact name:

Martin Batt

Contact phone:

0118 378 8242 

Contact phone:

0118 378 3502

Contact email:

Contact email:


Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. However, non-UK candidates who do not already have permission to work in the UK should note that by reference to the applicable SOC code for this role, sponsorship will not be possible under the Skilled Worker Route. There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.

The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.



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If you have a question or want to find out more about working at the University of Reading get in touch:

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