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Category Technical Manager

about us

the ideal candidate:

  • At least 6 years’ experience working in a food safety and technical role with manufacturing and retail/brand experience. 
  • Strong knowledge of food safety, microbiology and food regulations. 
  • Expertise in the chilled food category preferable.
  • Internal & external audit experience and an understanding of requirements for GFSI accreditations. 
  • Excellent attention to detail whilst never losing sight of the bigger picture. 
  • Strong stakeholder management and communication skills & able to work with a number of different suppliers. 
  • Experience working with international suppliers (Asian suppliers preferred) and willing to lone travel to Asia.
  • Line management experience preferable.
  • Qualified to degree level in food science or a similar subject.
  • Have a passion for food & Asian inspired food in particular. 


about us: 

itsu is the healthy eating, Asian inspired quick service retail & grocery brand with over 70 stores in the UK and a leading grocery business across Europe and beyond. Renowned for its best-in-class food made fresh in every shop every day, itsu has huge global ambitions with a commitment to continue to open many more stores and intensify the growth of its already thriving grocery arm. With its best-is-class healthy food, latest technology, innovation, and talented workforce, itsu is the future of fast food.


D&I statement: 

itsu [grocery] is committed to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation. We encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds to apply for all of our opportunities.


When applying for a role with us, please remove your: full name, name of University/School, address, email address and any photos of you on your CV and covering letter. non-anonymised CVs may not be reviewed. 


Scope of the role:


  • Responsible for the quality, safety, legality and authenticity of itsu [grocery] products and supplier performance. 
  • Support the Head of Technical to maintain and improve the food safety & quality management system and ensure AA Grade certification against the BRC A&B standard is maintained. Has ultimate accountability for certain procedures and records.
  • Responsible for driving the awareness and improvement of a food safety culture and ensuring it is always considered during decision making.  
  • Support the Head of Technical in creating the technical strategy, implementation and embedding within the supply base. Including leading on key policies and projects to drive improvement. 
  • Manage the Category Food Technologist/Senior Food Technologist with a focus on their development plan progression.


Key responsibilities:

  1. Oversee the approval and management of suppliers. Ensures all safety, legal and quality information is captured and assessed within the required timeframes, kept up to date and risks successfully managed. Conducts food safety audits when required. 
  2. Drive an improvement in supplier performance through relationship building, supplier reviews, KPIs and the creation of strategic technical plans.
  3. Analyse and interpret trends in customer complaints and product testing. Conducts investigations with suppliers for high risk issues and coaches the Food Technologist/Senior Food Technologist through low and medium risk investigations to identify the root cause and put corrective and preventative actions in place. 
  4. Oversees the ongoing monitoring of product quality, safety and authenticity and the management of investigations for routine surveillance testing, shelf-life evaluation and organoleptic testing. 
  5. Responsible for the technical elements of NPD and EPD projects ensuring the gate process is followed, testing is completed on time for nutritional, cooking instructions and shelf life and any technical issues are foreseen and resolved prior to launch. Attends production trials and first productions.
  6. Responsible for the technical sign off at gate 2 and supports the Food Technologist/Senior Food Technologist to approve the product specifications and artwork accurately and on time. Signs off compliance with itsu [grocery] brand standards, labelling regulations and always has the consumer at the forefront.


what we offer:

  • Competitive salary
  • Competitive bonus scheme
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays  (two bank holidays are interchangeable for other religious holidays)
  • Health insurance
  • Company pension scheme
  • Hybrid working (2 days wfh)
  • Opportunity to work from home abroad 
  • 50% employee discount in itsu shops
  • Free itsu lunch 
  • Discounts at major retailers
  • A sizeable training budget to support your ongoing development



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