A week in life of..Jonny Chambers, Head of Catering Operations, Keele University

Next up in our series of 'A week in the life of' that aims to give a behind the scenes insight into various roles is (drum roll please)

Jonny Chambers, Head of Catering Operations, Keele University Events and Conferencing

The Simplest way of describing my job:

Every day is a busy day, and no two days are the same but that’s what I enjoy.  One day I can be dealing with supplier meetings and planning upcoming projects, strategising, then the next day I’m rolling my sleeves up and supporting the operational team when we have a range of events in.

I’m passionate about hospitality and my team, I also want to motivate the team, support and develop their career and problem solve.

I prepare for the week ahead by:

For the role I undertake a weekly ‘To Do’ list is a must to be able to prioritise my time and ensure the smooth running of the department.  I am also looking to be ahead in forward planning for future business, checking which meetings are key for me to attend and identifying when I need to commit my time to working operationally with the team to deliver our client events seamlessly and deliver the KUEC experience.

In an average week, I:

The week begins with our operational meeting on a Monday morning to review the previous week and look at the week ahead.  Our weekly sales reports and sales targets are also reviewed and for me that include all the campus outlets.  Working in an operational role, I have site walks to all the campus outlets to get fresh air and exercise as our Campus is quite ‘rolling’

As a senior member of the KUEC team, I attend a range of meetings across the directorate and wider university and am responsible for the HR for my team and also work closely with the finance team relating to our revenue streams.

Peppered into that, is my time operationally with the service delivery team for events and also when we host student catering promotions, so all in all quite a variety of activities and as they say ‘never a dull moment!’

Name a challenge in your role:

Whilst there are always challenges in any role, I am always concerned about those that will impact on our clients.  So, with that in mind, I would say when a supplier doesn’t deliver the correct products or ingredients, as this can throw out the week.  It’s a case of thinking on your feet for a solution and then sharing with the team, who in turn, contact if required our clients to explain.

Why I love my job:

I never wanted a day-to-day office job and I studied International Hospitality Business Management at University and have always loved the industry.  Working at Keele, the role is so diverse and that’s what I love and when you receive great feedback from customers it pushes you and your team.  Weddings are my favourite event, being part of a couples ‘special day’ to deliver exceptional service to the couple and their guests is quite unique.

I relax out of work by:

I enjoy watching lots of sport, favourites are cricket and football.  Walking the dog gets me outside and exercising whilst clearing the mind.  I enjoy theatre and cinema and spending time with my 5-year-old daughter and wife.  Life is all about balance.