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Garden Café Assistant: Job description

Responsible to: Garden Cafe Team Leader
Hours per week: Varied (organised on a rota of shifts) 
Hourly Rate: £11.05 per hour


Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a popular community space in a built up part of Hackney, where most people don’t have their own garden. We worked with a team of local organisations to set up the Garden in 2010 to address the need for green public space and since then the trees and plants have flourished, along with our community programme and visitor numbers, which at last count were 160,000 people every year.

We operate as a social enterprise, which means that we generate all the income needed for the Garden’s day to day operation from our Café Bar. We are however first and foremost a community garden. People visit to relax and hang out, to get involved with volunteering, to bring children to play or to take part in our year round programme of free community and educational events and activities. Not everyone who visits the Garden spends money in our Café. It is a free to enter space and there is no obligation to spend. Everybody is welcome.

There is no ‘typical day’ working at The Garden. This means that we might start by hosting a community group of older people, followed by a visit from our local primary school, then visitors coming to relax (who might not buy anything in our Cafe), parents with babies in buggies, children coming to play after school or people coming to enjoy a beer in the evening. As a member of our team you will be responsible for making sure that all visitors, from the youngest to the oldest, in the Garden feel welcome, safe and happy.

The Garden and Café are open 12 months a year, 7 days a week and in the Summer months it gets very busy. We have a small kitchen where we bake fresh cakes and make soups daily. We are licensed to serve alcohol and from April – September our Café is open until 10pm on most evenings.

We aim to offer a beautiful, safe, clean, inclusive, welcoming environment that helps make all of our visitors feel good! Everyone in our team is expected to contribute to making this happen by offering a friendly service in the Café, looking after all the visitors to the Garden. We are a small team, so need everyone to be able to take on a variety of jobs as the need arises.


The essence of the Garden Cafe Assistant role is interacting with all visitors, (regardless if they are buying something in our Cafe), in a friendly, helpful and welcoming way. Other essential responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and serving hot and cold drinks and cakes from our Café Bar, working consistently within the Garden’s standards and to legal regulations.
  • Serving alcohol from the Cafe Bar, according to our licensing regulations.
  • Receiving payment for goods with cash and card machine.
  • Ensuring that the Café Bar is kept stocked, clean and well presented.
  • Ensuring all food preparation is conducted to our set hygiene standards.
  • Collecting glasses and crockery from the Garden for washing up.
  • Ensuring that all visitors throughout the space are following the Garden’s policies that keep the space safe and welcoming to all. These will be explained in your induction.
  • Being constantly alert and aware of what is going on throughout the space, being mindful of the delicate balance that must be maintained between plants and people in the Garden.
  • Keeping the seating areas in the Garden and Pavilion clean and safe. This includes clearing tables, tidying up sofas, folding blankets, emptying ashtrays, clearing rubbish, rearranging chairs and tables.
  • Washing glasses and crockery using dishwashers and by hand.
  • Ensuring that all areas of the work environment are hygienic, safe, tidy and free of hazards at all times.
  • Keeping toilets clean and well stocked with toilet rolls, soap and hand towels.
  • Being aware of stock levels in all areas and refilling when necessary. Highlighting any reordering needs to the relevant member of the team.
  • Accepting deliveries of stock and helping with transporting from entrance area to storage areas.
  • Answering basic questions from the public (eg opening times and Garden policies) and relaying more complicated enquiries to the appropriate team member.
  • Dealing with any problems or complaints in a diplomatic manner and in accordance with Garden policies and training.
  • Being responsible for the completion of additional tasks and duties relating to your role upon request by the Garden Directors or Cafe Managers.