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How to Apply

Review of applications will begin February 15, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.

Michigan Dining has retained the services of JDRQUEST, a national executive search firm, to assist in conducting this important search.

A resume and cover letter explaining how the applicant meets the qualifications specified in this announcement may be submitted directly to


Job Summary

Michigan Dining - Associate Director - Retail and Catering

The University of Michigan is the preeminent public University in the Midwest.  Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We serve over 46,000 students.  Michigan Dining’s scope of responsibility includes 9 dining halls, 21 retail operations, including convenience stores, cafes and restaurants, and campus catering in our three Student Unions and off site locations.

Michigan Dining’s focus is on; quality and service, expertise, innovation, community, wellness and sustainability that supports student learning and engagement across campus.

Michigan Dining was created three years ago with the consolidation of all the self operated food facilities under our new umbrella. Our current leadership team includes a Senior Director and Directors of Residential Dining, Retail Dining, Catering, Management Systems, Student Engagement and Sustainability and an Executive Chef.  After three years of tremendous growth we are launching into our next leadership reorganization and strategic plan for the next 3-5 years. 

The newly created Associate Director Position will report directly to the Senior Director and will be responsible for all aspects of the Michigan Dining catering and retail operations.  The managed volume will total approximately $16 million. Direct reports will include the Director of Catering, Director of Retail Operations and the newly created position of Executive Chef for Retail and Catering. This position will have hands on involvement with management and systems development and daily operational excellence. Communication, listening, and interaction  with students is critical to meet their needs and to the success of this position.  As the leader on campus for both Retail and Catering operations, client and customer interaction is critical for continued growth as this position will be highly visible.  The initial work for this new Associate Director will include opening our new Retail Market place at the Michigan League in August of 2018.  This new operation in the League, will be redefining our retail offer across campus for the future.  Future exciting opportunities may  include developing new  self operated brands as well as managing licensed operations.  The catering operations will be impacted in 2018 for 20 months while the Michigan Union undergoes a renovation that will shutter our catering resources in that building. It will be crucial to  maintain our existing business and prepare for significant growth in catering operations when we reopen.  The Associate Director will be expected to build strong relationships with our MDining leadership team,  Student Life  and academic partners across campus.  Our leadership model as we enter into our next five year plan is one of establishing an environment of accountability and shared ownership across our department, and committing to seeing our gaps in excellence, owning them, solving them, and initiating actions to close them.

Our successful candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills and a comfort level with speaking to groups.  With multiple unit responsibilities, an emphasis on finances will require the candidate to have a strong business acumen and the ability to assess financial data and communicate action plans to our staff, clients and Senior Director. The candidate will be required to be present, engage students, staff and clients and ensure quality and service standards are maintained in our Retail and Catering operations.

If you have the vision and the energy join our team as we take Michigan Dining to be the best University Dining in the nation - apply for this job.  If you are innovative and are looking for the freedom to be the best - apply for this job. If you enjoy developing your staff and yourself to build careers and opportunities - apply for this job  Our Michigan Dining team is looking forward to working with you.

For information regarding the University of Michigan's benefit offerings, please visit


The Director of Catering and Retail Dining Operations is responsible for the overall success of the Catering and Retail Dining programs. Maintains high levels of satisfaction for students, faculty, staff, guests and other campus community stakeholders, as well as strategic planning, financial accountability, conceptual ideation for programs and initiatives, compliance with safety and sanitation regulations, operational efficiency, culinary excellence, sustainability and local food sourcing with partners in procurement, and staff development. The Operations Director is responsible for business development and national brand management.  The Director oversees the daily operations of Michigan Catering and Michigan Dining Retail cafes, C-stores, food trucks and restaurants. The Director is responsible for oversight and implementation of all alcohol policies and procedures.


Operational Leadership (40%)

  • Serve as a member of Michigan Dining leadership with responsibility for planning and directing the administrative, operational and developmental activities of multiple retail locations and catering kitchens and functions.
  • Plan, develop and administer the operational policies and procedures, food production standards and methods, and menu guidelines and development for the retail and catering operations.
  • Advise the Senior Director in planning and implementation of objectives and short and long term programs for Dining Services consistent with comprehensive strategic planning, goals and objectives of the University, Student Life and Dining Services.
  • Advise the Senior Director in the preparation of Licensing Agreements pertaining to Food Truck Licensing, Visiting Vendors and Memorandum of Understanding with Student Life and the University at large.
  • Provide assistance and support in developing and implementing plans for operational improvements, renovations, and new construction to respond to the needs and expectations of faculty, staff, and students across student life and campus.
  • Direct the operations of multiple units through supporting supervisory staff.
  • Supervise national brand concepts and ensure food and service quality and compliance with all brand standards.
  • Administer health and safety standards in compliance with University, State and Federal codes and regulations.
  • Administer all alcohol licensing, operational controls and service policies and procedures.
  • Participate in the analysis of current and future needs of Michigan Dining Services.
  • Establish an environment of team and individual accountability.

Human Resource Management (25%)

  • Participate with the Senior Director in the recruitment, selection, training, development, evaluation and discipline of food services management, supervisory and support staff.
  • Train and develop staff on Human Resource and Michigan Dining department policy and procedures, implementation techniques, and strategy. Establish an environment of accountability for performance, commitments and professionalism.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with AFSCME leadership and employees.

Financial Leadership (10%)

  • Prepare the budget projections for Michigan Dining retail and catering operations in partnership with department directors for review and approval of the Senior Director. 
  • Train, coordinate and direct proper cash handling, financial, and accounting practices.
  • Review and monitor operational budgets for dining services and provide counsel and advice to management staff.
  • Utilize financial data and statistics to aid informed decision making.
  • Provide information to the Senior Director in the preparation of special and periodic reports for University administration.
  • Develop and support initiatives for growth and increased efficiency of Michigan Dining operations.
  • Participate in sales efforts and new business development.

Planning and Communication (10%)

  • Coordinate with Marketing specialists to develop and assist the team in the development of projects and strategies using best industry practices to enhance current programs for students and clients that increase the perception of value, flexibility, responsiveness, convenience and accessibility of products and services including extended hours of service, improved and expanded menu options, and continuing enhancement of the retail and catering operations.
  • Meet with members of the Residence Hall Association and other student groups, conference clients, and representatives from other departments contracting for services provided by the retail and catering operations to ensure that requirements and expectations are met or exceeded.
  • Confer with and interpret dining services programs and services to students, faculty, staff and the public and university at large.
  • Coordinate and implement marketing efforts for retail and catering operations and other Michigan Dining units utilizing the marketing department.
  • Assist the Senior Director in evaluating the effectiveness of food services activities, and provide assistance and support in the implementation of organizational changes, policy and procedure revisions and new equipment applications to meet the constantly changing needs of the diverse population served.
  • Attend seminars and conferences as determined in consultation with the Senior Director to meet the needs of the department.

Programmatic Leadership (10%)

  • Assist the Senior Director in planning, directing, and administering programs, policies and procedures in the areas of sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion excellence, student programming and engagement, academic partnerships, and community engagement.

Other (5%)

  • Represent Michigan Dining Services as a member of University, Division, and Department committees with authority to make decisions. 
  • Advise the Senior Director on contractual agreements as assigned. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Senior Director.

Required Qualifications*

  • B.A. or B.S. in Food Service Management, Culinary Arts, Nutrition, Business, or combination of equivalent experience is required.
  • Up to eight years’ operational experience in the hospitality industry at the management level. At least six years’ experience in a multi-unit college or university environment with demonstrated progressive growth of managed volume.
  • TAM, ServSafe and OHSA certified within 60 days from date of hire as a condition of employment.  If the certifications are not acquired during the 60-day period, employment will be terminated.  Certifications must be maintained as a condition of employment
  • Able to legally work in the United States.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience with a collective bargained-for workforce.
  • Experience in construction, renovating and rehabilitation of facilities is desired.

Additional Information

Positon Criteria:

  • Experience in management of self operated, regional, and national brands.
  • Experience in catering sales, and operations.
  • Experience with safety and sanitation, dining technology systems (CBORD preferred), vendor relations, and sustainability.
  • Demonstrated oral and written English communication skills, including presentation skills.
  • Positive and professional public relations skills, excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Able to analyze and interpret financial and other data.
  • General business acumen.
  • Able to work under pressure and meet established goals and objectives.
  • Able to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Professional appearance, attire and demeanor.
  • Computer literacy required.   Able to learn computer software and utilize effectively, and work at the computer for extended periods of time.
  • Highly organized with good time management skills.
  • A hospitality orientation.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and provide leadership for a diverse workforce.
  • Merchandising/marketing experience.
  • Ability to maintain consistent and regular attendance.
  • Personal and professional integrity.
  • Competencies include:
    • Drive for Excellence
    • Innovation
    • Business and Industry Knowledge
    • Strategic Planning & Leadership
    • Operational Management
    • Fiscal Stewardship
    • Customer Satisfaction and Communication
    • Human Resource Management & Development
    • Working with Diverse Constituencies
    • Sustainability
    • Technology

Working conditions


  • Ability to work a flexible schedule with variable weekday hours, some weekends and holidays required.
  • The Director of Operations is classified as a “critical employee” and will be expected to be on site during any reduction in service or emergency closure of the University
  • Must have a current Driver’s License issued within the United States, Canada or an International License that is translated into English and successfully complete the Motor Vehicle Record Check in accordance with the University of Michigan policy.


Physical requirements

  • Ability to move and transport objects weighing 25 - 30 pounds, twist and bend frequently, ascend and descend stairs, and work in a static position for extended periods of time.

Direct reports

Director of Retail Operations, Director of Catering, Executive Chef Catering/Retail

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.