Operations Manager - Visitor Services

Organization: Virginia Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Job or Internship: Job


This Operations Manager for the Virginia Zoological Society is responsible for the site managing and organizing of all retail Zoo operations including for food service, gift shop and train divisions. This Operations Manager is responsible for the efficient operations of these onsite operations. This position is also responsible for developing, implementing, and tracking strategies to increase visitor service related-revenue and enhancing the Zoo visitor experience.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

• Reports to the Zoo’s Executive Director in addressing all opportunities and challenges that may affect Zoo visitors.

• Assists with the creation of budgets associated with each of the divisions assigned.

• Coordinates and plans key strategies for daily staffing, marketing of retail food and gift items and for monitoring visitor flow and guest service.

• Directs the managers in each of the areas mentioned and evaluates performance.

• Ensures that departmental budgets, quality standards and service goals are met.

• With Zoo’s Executive Director, initiates, follow through and maintain a high level of customer service throughout facilities.

• Analyzes operating costs and identifies ideas for increasing revenue and profitability.

• Analyzes, identifies and monitors sales trends and labor costs/productivity.

• Provides senior management and zoological society board with sales & program reports.

• Advises senior management on logistical and operational issues, and new opportunities surrounding visitor experience.

• Oversees special projects as assigned, such as developing and upgrading facilities.

• Attends retail/food industry conferences and exhibitions to stay abreast of products and practices.

• Maintains a variety of contacts in order to respond to inquiries and requests.

• Effectively coordinates activities involving departmental divisions.

• Is an active member of the Zoo’s management team and collaborates with other Zoo departments for various activities.

• Supervises employee relations, all recruitment and disciplinary processes

• Assists with special projects and helps other zoo employees as needed.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must have the following education and/or experience.

• Bachelor’s degree required.

• Minimum of 4 years experience in a customer service/sales management position.

• Considerable management experience in multi-unit or large theme park retail and food service operations.

• Training and certification in safe food handling is desirable.

• Experience managing team of 10+ people - including management and supervisors.

• Experience with cash handling, tracking, loss prevention, accounting systems for generated revenue.

• Experience with CounterPoint point-of-sale system preferred.

• Knowledge of: Commercial food preparation techniques and equipment, health and safety regulations and gift shop operations preferred.

• Excellent customer service skills required.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

• Quick leaner with regards to positions essential functions and responsibilities.

• High energy and enthusiasm for completion of task.

• Manage retail/restaurant, catering, and fast-food operations.

• Ability to help develop, administer and monitor budgets.

• Use word processing, spreadsheet, and automated food service and retail systems.

• Recruit, and manage a large diverse staff.

• Communicate effectively (verbal and written).

• Work well in a team environment.

• Has the ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines.

• Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with staff, volunteers, and the public.

• Ability to think logically in order to troubleshoot, analyzes situations, and makes sound business decisions.

• Ability to make independent decisions.

• Ability to serve in every respect and at all times as a goodwill ambassador for the Virginia Zoological Society and the Virginia Zoo in contacts with Zoo visitors and the general public.

• Ability to maintain effective time-management skills.

Salary Range: $35,000 - $45,000

TO APPLY: Email your resume, including three references, to Sandra.Simmons@norfolk.gov