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Cafe Manager

Café Manager

This is an exciting opportunity for a café manager or enthusiastic barista with senior experience to join the Bow Arts team at its flagship Bow Road site to launch its first in-house café.

We are urgently looking for someone to manage and develop the new Nunnery café at Bow Road, which runs ancillary to the Nunnery Gallery and sits among 100 artist studios and adjacent to the Bow Arts office headquarters.

We are looking for someone to work with us to launch the café, creating a new food and drinks offer, establishing a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere and achieving and maintaining high standards of quality and hygiene. You will be very hands on at the start, with the scope to oversee the operation as the trade grows. The café will be locally focused and chime with Bow Arts’ green credentials, such as perhaps offering solely vegetarian food.

You will be creative, full of ideas, and eager to put your stamp on a new and exciting project. The cafe has a lot of potential to grow from an ancillary gallery cafe to Bow’s new and trendy local spot. We want to keep close to the community, the artists and the gallery visitors while bringing a whole new crowd to the area and building up a regular trade.

The financial success of the cafe will be dependent on you. You will need to be energetic, see opportunities through and drive the business  forward. Marketing and social media can be part of your role if you want to own it and develop your skills and experience, working with the Bow Arts marketing team.

The café is integral to Bow Arts’ other activities such as the exhibition programme, afterhours events and venue-hire catering opportunities – and will be the new home to the gallery shop, selling books, gifts and prints.

The café will be open during the day including weekends, however you might be required to work evenings for events from time to time.

Proven experience is essential, together with a flexible hands-on approach and a genuine passion for food. Financial awareness is key, together with an understanding of stock potential to improve the financial success and visitor experience at Bow Arts’ flagship cultural hub. An interest in the arts and Bow Arts’ activities is preferable.

Working will be part of a small team and may include some lone working.

Hours:                                    Minimum 30 hours per week
Salary range:                         Dependent on experience
Benefits:                                25 days holiday (pro rata if part time), Workplace Pension, Cycle Loan Scheme, Season Ticket Loan Scheme
Duration of appointment:    Twelve months fixed term with possibility to extend
Reports to:                             Gallery Director
Location:                                Nunnery Café, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ

Level of experience expected:

  • Health & safety training - level 2 minimum.
  • Barista training (though refresher training will be offered through coffee provider).
  • Small space management.
  • Experience in the service and hospitality industry.

Responsibilities include:

  • Recruitment, training and management of assistant staff, including completing weekly rotas, logging sickness, arranging cover and providing direct line management support.
  • Set up of the EPOS system.
  • Menu design, growing from a basic initial offer using local partners where possible.
  • Cooking basic hot food (i.e. soups / breakfast) as well as serving bought-in food from partners (i.e. snacks / pastries) and serving beverages.
  • Working towards set targets of sales and devising strategies to meet these.
  • Stock management, including ordering / liaising with suppliers (focusing on local suppliers and partners) and quantity / waste control.
  • Cashing up.
  • Serving customers and ensuring they are satisfied with the offer / service, as repeat local business and building a rapport with regulars is a must.
  • Ensuring a high level of health and safety, cleanliness and food hygiene – including relevant training of staff.
  • Maintaining a level of offer that is mindful both of quality and affordability for local customers.
  • Liaising with the Gallery Director on gallery exhibitions and events to ensure on-going promotion / afterhours events are catered for.
  • Selling of retail items in the café, such as books / prints and artworks on the wall, with support from the Gallery team.
  • Development of retail offer, such as veg boxes / bread to cater to local interest.
  • On-going meetings with Bow Arts staff, including gallery, studios and marketing teams, to ensure café offer is integrated / appropriate organisation-wide.

To apply, please send a copy of your CV along with a cover letter outlining:

  • Relevant experience that prepares you for the responsibilities of this role.
  • Your ambition and ideas for the Nunnery Gallery café offer, including how these chime with the Bow Arts mission.

Applications / expressions of interest should be sent to Sophie Hill, Gallery Director on

We are looking to fill this post urgently, so please get in touch promptly. We will be interviewing while this advertisement is live.

Bow Arts is an equal opportunities and London Living Wage employer and registered charity no. 1046958. The Bow Arts office is fully wheelchair accessible. Please let us know if you have any access requirements that you would like us to be aware of should you be offered an interview.