Blue Rock Search has recently been engaged by one of our top clients, a mature and successful Global QSR Franchisor, to identify their next Senior Manager of Culinary Innovation. The Sr. Manager of Culinary leads and executes the brand's core menu and product strategy from a blend of food science and culinary background. Assisting the Director of Culinary in leading the innovation process in commercializing new and improved products and processes. Leader on existing product improvements, formulary changes or enhancements, and cost improvement initiatives. Collaborating cross functionally on product performance and research to ensure products are on trend and help grow the business. This is an outstanding opportunity to join an industry leader and grow your career.
- Project lead on existing product improvements, formulary changes or enhancements, and cost improvement initiatives, including complete product evaluations, refinements, and documentation.
- Leads menu engineering and core menu initiatives. Identify gaps with current product offering and ideate solutions to fill customer needs and drive incremental growth for the business.
- Makes recommendations on product changes and retirement based on customer and partner feedback, brand alignment and production requirements.
- Continuously learning, tasting, exploring, vetting and researching food ideas and concepts and relating them back to relevant ideas for the brand.
- Design and perform continuous research on new products to support the brand's ongoing culinary innovation.
- Develops high level thinking around new product development, conducts ideation sessions, concept statements, delivers recipes and specifications that can be consistently executed across all operating units. Provide R&D approval for any changes to existing specifications.
- Collaborates cross-functionally (i.e., Marketing, Ops, Purchasing, Finance and IT) to effectively bring new products to life.
- Takes an active role in presentations to leadership in preparation and executes supplier production pilots and runs, supports franchisee conferences and training, in-house product showing with cross functional teams, photo shoots and supplier ideations.
- Collaborates with Purchasing on the sourcing of new ingredients and products, taking the lead on product specs and evaluations. Assists Purchasing with quality assurance investigations, research new vendors, and develop new vendor relationships for products, equipment, and small wares.
- Bachelor's degree in culinary/food science or related degree
- At least 6 years experience in food R&D, with at least 5 years' experience leading technical/culinary professionals
- Knowledge of food products and commercialization, including quality assurance, supplier manufacturing and processes
- Strong understanding in culinary basics: the principles of cooking techniques, product characteristics, safe food handling techniques, food & nutrition, and idea development
- Excellent understanding of the product development process and innovation stage gate principles
- Strong knowledge of the interaction between culinary art, food science and nutrition
- Strong knowledge of sensory and consumer research methodologies
- Experience with packaged food safety and government regulatory requirements
- People leadership skills and the ability to manage, mentor and develop others
- Ability to travel up to 30%
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