Revolutionising the way we work brings big opportunities in Food & Beverage and Retail

Published : Wed 8th Jan

We welcome close to 28 million visits of all ages and backgrounds every year to the historic houses, gardens and coastlines we care for. We’re making a huge investment into both our Retail and Food & Beverage businesses to make sure our visitor experience is the best it can be, and that we’re able to continue looking after these special places for everyone, for ever.

Pamela Withers, Head of Operational Delivery, Food & Beverage and Laura Collins, Head of Operational Delivery, Retail, explain our plans for 2020 and why we’re significantly investing in Retail and Food & Beverage.

“By investing in our Food & Beverage and Retail people and facilities, we’ll be able to support our teams to provide the best possible visitor experience at the same time as generating valuable income for our conservation projects, ambitions and goals”, explains Pamela. “These are integral elements of someone’s experience,” adds Laura, “they might make or break their visit, so it’s vital we get these areas right.”
Pamela goes on to explain that there’s a real buzz around food at National Trust. “‘Good food, doing good’ is our motto and it feels like a really exciting place to be,” she says. It’s always been important to us that our food reflects our cause, for example, we work closely with tenant farmers to make sure we use ingredients which are responsibly produced.”

When it comes to Retail we want the products in our shops, and online, to reflect our commitment to thinking and acting sustainably, but also the property or place it’s in. “We need to make sure we’re sourcing products mindfully and reflecting our charitable ethos of connecting people with nature ,” says Laura. “We want to champion local products in shops and look at how our shops reflect the property they’re in. There’s a myriad of things to do in this area, which will make a huge difference to visitors’ experience and beyond.”

Taking National Trust forward

In order to deliver best-in-class Retail and Food & Beverage businesses, we’re recruiting 19 new Area Managers – four in Retail and 15 in Food & Beverage to enlarge our existing, highly performing, team. “These roles will be a huge driving force in these areas and will help us deliver a real step change in the performance of these businesses,” says Pamela.

Looking after a regional portfolio, the Area Managers will work closely with the property team and General Managers at each property, providing an unprecedented focus of attention on those properties.

Each portfolio is unique. You could be looking after historical buildings, coastline sites, with high visitor numbers and multiple Retail and Food & Beverage outlets, or smaller places with fewer outlets and smaller teams. Either way, you’ll be coaching, building succession plans and supporting people to achieve all they can.

Making sure we’re delivering the basics to an excellent level, you’ll also be looking for opportunities for how we can get the most out of the business – whether that’s choosing what we put in specific shops, or having a say in the menu. The ability to build strong relationships and collaborate with others is key.

“This is a commercial role – focused on collaborating with general managers and property managers to set the pace and tone of daily business functions and improve ways of working, with every single penny of profit re-invested into the property. This income will help to fund vital conservation work, which could include roof repairs or buying grassland, for example,” says Laura. “Our new Area Managers will be applying their commercial acumen to something that is put back into our places.”

“It’s never been a more exciting time to join Retail or Food & Beverage at the National Trust,” she adds. “You’ll work in a beautiful place each day and have a real feel good factor about the work you’re doing, as you see and feel the difference you’re making.”

Please note that applications for these roles are now closed. However, opportunities in our Food & Beverage and Retail teams may open throughout the year. Take a look at our current vacancies by selection the right area for you in the buttons below.

Food & Beverage