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Head of Operations - Events and Catering

Free to Feed
  • Work Type/s: Full time
  • Classification/s: Hospitality/Events
  • Location: North Fitzroy, Melbourne
  • Reports to: CEO

Free to Feed is a social enterprise that exists to support people seeking asylum with training and empowering employment opportunities. Free to Feed is affectionately known for its stunning events, grazing tables and a warm, generous community spirit.

We pride ourselves on being a dynamic, creative and passionate team, and have built a workplace culture that champions everyone to bring their best selves and succeed. Free to Feed’s team culture is values driven and positive. Our team is genuinely excited to come to work every single day, to support refugees and people seeking asylum, and create beautiful food and dining experiences.

We are recruiting an experienced Operations Manager. This is a newly created role that is being introduced as Free to Feed sets to launch a charming 800sqm heritage-listed art deco events venue and expand it’s catering and event services.

We’re seeking someone who is skilled and experienced in operations and systems and has a passion for Front of House. The right candidate will have held a similar role within the hospitality and events industry. The Head of Operations role will join the Leadership Team and will work very closely with our Head Chef and front of house team on the floor! 

The Free to Feed team is passionate, social, warm and will thrive under a steady and experienced hospitality professional. Communication skills and emotional intelligence are important characteristics of our future Head of Operations.

To be successful in this role we require someone seeking a long term position, leading a team of professionals. You must truly thrive in supporting others with solid planning and operations, and have the ability to be dynamic, receive feedback and implement change as necessary. 


  • Be a part of building the culture of a developing team.
  • Be a part of an organisation that genuinely cares about our community and the wellbeing of its staff and participants. 
  • Daily multicultural team lunches are provided and cooked with love by the refugees and people seeking asylum in our program.
  • Job security – our social enterprise is on a growth trajectory. We have big plans and have retained our team during COVID.
  • The complete support of a passionate founder and CEO who hires experts to help drive the organisation forward.
  • Competitive salary and salary packaging available *As Free to Feed is a not-for-profit entity and FBT exempt, it is able to provide its employees with benefits. Eligible full/part-time employees will be entitled to claim $15,900 of GST free income.

Key Responsibilities


  • Oversee operational planning on the maco and micro level (i.e annually, seasonally, monthly and weekly).
  • Responsibility for resourcing all events (including long and short lead times) alongside the team. 
  • Create systems, practises and processes that enable greater synchronicity and transparency for the team as the organisation grows.
  • Lead operational meetings and provide clarity on responsibilities to team members. 
  • Manage logistics for peak seasons where the venue is activated and offsite events are being held, in addition to our classes. 
  • Attend pre identified events (1-2 per week) in an Operations/ F.O.H capacity to work on the floor alongside the service team, oversee operational requirements and/or brief in F.O.H and Event Managers/Producers. 
  • Work with the CFO and management team to ensure labour targets are consistently achieved.  

Venue Operations

  • Responsibility for the management of Free to Feed’s North Fitzroy venue.
  • Work with the management team to ensure the servicing and maintenance schedule, and opening and closing procedures are developed and implemented for all public areas.
  • Introduction and management of a calendar system for bookable spaces.
  • Ensure the smooth and efficient execution of functions and events, introducing and streamlining best practice from the industry (i.e packing lists, preferred suppliers, catering management system).
  • Ensure any operational issues are resolved and solutions are implemented.
  • Work with the F.O.H team (leading by example) to ensure the high level of enlightened hospitality service throughout all components of the venue operations, roll your sleeves up and get involved.
  • Planning and executing event and venue requirements that may require operational  management/oversight (floor, bar, kitchen, security, service, furniture, decor and music) 
  • Provide effective hands-on leadership and direction to support the customer’s experience with the venue and services, and build the team’s capacity.
  • Oversight of the whole venue including the implementing an inventory and alcohol stocktaking procedures as requested.

Team Leadership

  • Work as part of the Leadership Team to chart the trajectory of Free to Feed’s food and hospitality operations. 
  • Support the CEO and team to plan, prioritise and organise team workloads. 
  • Showcase organisational values and a positive approach for direct and indirect staff reports.
  • Role up your sleeves and work on the floor alongside the team, leading by example 
  • Recruit, mentor and develop a cohesive, energetic and professional team.
  • Support key roles to succeed including Head Chef and F.O.H Supervisor Manager with greater operational support and systems in place.  
  • Plan staffing for the year in accordance with sales and seasonality and oversee annual leave calendars for hospitality staff. 
  • Support the team to be wedding ready by Spring through systems and training that ensure great attention to detail, excellent service/customer experience and detailed operational management of the venue and events we deliver.
  • Manage the organisational risk register and hold responsibility for risk management systems and planning including permits and insurance.

Selection Criteria:


  • Minimum 4 years experience in a comparable position.
  • Experience in executing events including 'offsite' events across a large range of event categories (ie weddings, corporate functions, pop ups!)
  • A genuine passion for warm and engaging hospitality and expertise in Front of House.
  • Experience in delivering successful catering and event operations, including systems, procedures and controls.
  • Strong knowledge of the hospitality and events industry including suppliers and trends
  • Proven ability to recruit, mentor and develop a cohesive operational team
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills with proven ability to build effective professional relationships with clients, guests and coworkers
  • A high level of attention to detail combined with a passion to deliver exceptional experiences for our clients and guests
  • Exceptional ability with events logistics
  • Experience in compliance including OH&S, Covid Safety, RSA and permits
  • Able to identify and understand gaps to provide customer and operation solutions, updating or building venue specific processes around service to refine and improve


  • Extensive wine and beverage service knowledge is a bonus.


Our values are the foundation of our work and guide our decision making. It is a requirement that all staff embody our values in all that they do.

Our values are: Curiosity, Enlightened Hospitality, Respect and Positivity

No applications will be accepted after the closing date/time.

*We strongly encourage members of underrepresented CALD groups to submit an application. We value your lived experience above everything so please still submit your application. 

A position description is attached.

How to apply

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