Café Chef

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Based at: Calderstones Mansion House, Liverpool, L18 3JB

Reporting to: Café Manager/Catering Site Manager
Rate of pay: £8 per hour

Hours: minimum 32 hours per week

Duration: Fixed term – 6 months in the first instance                                                                       

About The Reader

‘Sometimes I can relate the story to my own life, like with The Old Man and the Sea, that feeling of limbo, being stuck, that’s what I felt like before I came to the group.’

The Reader is a fast-growing social enterprise with a national and international remit that develops innovative shared reading-aloud groups in diverse communities across society.  Head office is in our home city of Liverpool but we have teams in London, the North East, the South West, Scotland Wales, as well as a national prisons project in 6 locations, and work in Northern Ireland, Belgium and Denmark.

We are hard-working, hugely ambitious and aim for the highest standards of quality in all aspects of our work.  We want to make shared reading the norm in all walks of life.

We believe that literature is a force for social good that can be used to build community and enhance lives, reduce social isolation and help people to maximise their potential. Our work encourages people of all ages and backgrounds, in whatever life situation they find themselves, to become readers, to extend their reading habits, and to share their reading experiences with others.

The Reader works with over 5,000 people through 370 weekly groups, events and activities; from pre-schoolers to people at the end of life, and across a number of different sectors, including, but not limited to the Education, Criminal Justice and Mental Health Sectors.At Calderstones, The Reader is developing an international flagship project, a world-renowned, sustainable home for the organisation where we can showcase our whole person, whole population approach to shared reading. 

About Shared Reading

“This reading group mends holes in the net I would otherwise fall through.”

(Shared Reading group member)

Shared Reading is our innovative social outreach project. Groups meet in community centres, libraries, homeless shelters, schools, hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, drug rehab units and care homes – simply to enjoy great books and poems together!

What’s different about these groups is that short stories, novels and poems are read aloud by one of our trained facilitators (group members can choose to join in, but there is no pressure to). This provides immediate engagement with the text, which is enriched by the spontaneous sharing of life stories and experiences as confidence builds over time. The groups meet week-in-week-out, providing valuable structure and support. Both of these elements are integral to the success of Shared Reading.

To find out more about The Reader please visit our website:

Our beliefs and values

Our beliefs and values shape our culture and guide us in our work both internally and externally. These are principles that we hope will help everyone who works for us, everyone who works with us and everyone with whom we read understand who we are, what we stand for and how we do things.

It’s really important that we recruit people who feel they can work in accordance with these values:

Great literature is at our heart 

We read to lead

We are kind but bold

We respect individuality but work as a team

We value innovation and find ways to live with change

We have strong boundaries and are well supported

We celebrate success but learn from our mistakes

We work whole-heartedly and value our wellbeing

This role sits at the centre of our shared reading work and combines and embodies many of the above, especially ‘Great literature is at our heart’, ‘We are kind but bold’ and, ‘We have strong boundaries and are well supported’.

Please read more about our purpose, beliefs and values here:

About the Role:

This individual will be responsible for developing hospitality enterprises within The Reader, creating new and sustainable ways to support The Reader activity and generate revenue. They will develop a range of profitable catering offers that work in harmony with the organisation’s ethos and vision.

The chef is expected to have a hands on approach and responsibility for the overall daily operation of the café’s catering processes whilst being mindful of industry cost margins. The individual will need the practical skills to execute an interesting but simple menu and be capable of developing and planning seasonal menus as well as promoting our café offers. The chef must also have current and relevant health and safety/food hygiene certificates. The role would require the individual to show initiative in order to lead in offering an innovative menu and develop new, workable, concepts and ideas.

Role Responsibilities:

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • To ensure the café kitchen and front of house is set up to meet the required standards at all times, with Health and Safety and Food Hygiene Legislation fully adhered to
  • To create an interesting, basic menu; ensuring correct margins are made and menu content is compatible with customer needs
  • Able to prepare and deliver all items offered on the menu and lead by example, observing all food hygiene regulations and requirements of best practice
  • To ensure stock rotation and that deliveries are checked to ensure accurate quantity and quality of product
  • Increase profitability by ensuring best value from suppliers
  • To ensure all cleaning schedules, food temperature and fridge temperature records are current and contain information required by food safety regulations with any testing carried out as instructed.
  • Ensure that all kitchen equipment is properly maintained and used safely, ensuring the competency and safety of others.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • An enthusiasm to work within a team to improve the profile of The Reader Café, with an ability to instruct others and report back to the shift manager
  • Relevant catering qualifications and experience to ensure effective management
  • Willingness to undertake training as required
  • Smart, clean and groomed appearance; excellent standards of personal hygiene
  • An ability to cope with the physical demands of working within a busy café
  • A team player but able to work with own initiative
  • Excellent communication skills.


  • Experience of dealing with suppliers

How to Apply

Note. Please do not just send in a CV. We will only consider applications that adhere to the following process –

Visit and select the ‘getting involved’ tab where you will be able to view the full job description and download an application form. Please complete the application form and submit a covering letter, explaining how you meet the requirements of this role, to [email protected]

Your covering letter is an opportunity for you to include any additional information which could not be explained within the application form.

Deadline for applications is 9am, Friday 28th July 2017.

A high volume of applications may make replies to everyone impossible.

 Apply for this job