The Assistant Culinary Director of Cheese will be a major contributor to the sales, profitability, of Lucky’s Market, with direct responsibility for developing and managing the National Cheese Program. This position is responsible for the procurement of food service products, innovation and development of quality menu items and improvement of current items that contribute to increasing guest traffic, sales, efficiency, market share and menu profitability. This position will work with a cross-functional team – Operations, Purchasing, Marketing, Training, and Accounting.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
- Assist in the development and lead all cheese teams, inspiring teamwork, enthusiasm, and complete product knowledge.
- Develop retail pricing and purchasing strategies for each market to maintain a profitable program
- Participate in the hiring and performance standards of Culinary Department Managers by partnering with Store Directors in the mentoring, coaching, development of Culinary Department Managers and in the development of future Managers.
- Establish and help maintain all retail Culinary standards regarding quality, presentation, sanitation, customer service, skill building, etc.
- Develop new and innovative Culinary products and merchandising techniques to grow sales and excitement in the cheese department
- Help Culinary teams meet or exceed sales, margin, and labor targets.
- Participate in the training, resets, remodels and new store openings (training of new teams, department design, design resets, fixtures).
- Establish programs that will continuously improve the quality of our Culinary Teams in product knowledge, training, and customer service and production efficiencies.
- Provide feedback to all vendors on product quality and service to stores issues.
- Coordinate the successful execution of promotions, marketing programs, holiday menus and programs as necessary.
- Negotiate, monitor and maintain promotional activity for start and end dates, including sale items, EDLP’s, & TPR’s. Ensure products reflect discounts.
- Review performance of promotions by creating reports to present performance.
- Manage contracts for promotions and scan backs.
- Participate in the yearly financial planning of culinary teams.
- Categories include cured meats, chocolates, premium crackers, seasonal and holiday cheese products
- Other duties as assigned.
The above declarations are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the duties and responsibilities of the job described, nor are they intended to be such a listing of the skills and abilities required to do the job. Rather, they are intended only to describe the general nature of the job.
Education and Experience
- Culinary degree or equivalent experience.
- Must have a minimum of 4 years professional culinary/kitchen management experience.
- Preferred retail experience in retail cheese or food service outlet operations and merchandising processes and procedures.
- Must have a minimum of 1 year of experience in product procurement and program financial planning
- Previous experience in a natural foods industry is a plus.
- Experience in building and using food costing/ inventory management data bases and programs
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Ability to create consistently delicious food.
- Strong negotiating and purchasing skills.
- Solid sense of current culinary trends with the ability to translate into a retail cheese environment.
- Burning desire to offer outstanding service to all stakeholders – customers, team members, vendors and producers.
- Ability to develop and cost recipes scaled for large batch production.
- Passion for all things food and the willing ness to explore, expand and learn. Also the willingness to share knowledge and inspire passion in others.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Excellent written and documentation skills.
- Ability to work flexible days including weekends and holidays as needed.
- Superior merchandising and operational skills.
- Proficiency with Excel and Word.
- Ability to travel and commute
- Commitment to achieving excellence.
- Superior organizational skills for follow-through and the ability to juggle and prioritize
- Strong work ethic, lead by example.
- Ability to adapt to the ever changing high volume retail while working in a cross-functional team environment.
- Capacity to take initiative when problems arise.
- Advanced attention to detail with the capability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
- Ability to multitask and have excellent organizational skills is essential.
- Familiar with Health Department guidelines and regulations as they pertain to a grocery retail environment.
- Efficient planning and ability to execute for results.
- Ability to improve performance through motivation, training and setting clear expectations.
- Ability to analyze and create action plans for financial statements.
Work Environment/Physical Demands
- The potential for prolonged standing, walking, squatting and/or bending.
- The ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
- Occasional high stress when dealing with systems/customers/staff.
- Ability to enter the cooler and freezer thereby being subjected to cold temperatures for extended periods of time.