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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

Michigan Dining - Executive Chef - 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, staff and community 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, Systems Management, Student Engagement and Sustainability and a campus wide 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 Executive Chef Position will join our department leadership team and will report directly to the Associate Director for Retail and Catering.  This position will be responsible for all aspects of the Michigan Dining catering and retail culinary operations.  The managed volume will total approximately $16 million. This position will work closely and in tandem with the Residential Dining Executive Chef, Pastry Chef and Test Kitchen Chef.   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 a 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 Executive Chef 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 in alternate locations and prepare for significant growth in catering operations when we reopen. Along with menu development and staff training, participation in client sales efforts, tastings and visibility at important events is expected.  The Executive Chef 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 commitment to identifying 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, the successful candidate must have a track record of establishing strong systems management  to ensure consistency with menus , authenticity and quality of our offerings, 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


Job Summary

The Executive Chef is responsible for developing, implementing and managing culinary operations for all areas of Catering & Retail Dining Services, including multiple retail & catering operations. The Executive Chef provides leadership and support for Catering & Retail Operations in culinary excellence, training, recipe and menu development, purchasing support, and the innovation and execution of new dining concepts. This position involves the development and maintenance of food quality standards and works with the Catering & Retail Operations Director in formulating and monitoring a yearly food budget and plan for catering and retail food. The critical elements of the position include food quality, food cost and procurement, development of staff and sanitation. Provides training and development for the staff, keeping them current with culinary skills and procedures to meet and exceed expectations. Participates in public relations and sales efforts with customer interaction.


Operational Leadership (30%)

  • Serve as a member of the Michigan Dining Leadership Team with responsibility for planning, developing and administering the operational policies and procedures, food production standards and methods, and menu guidelines and for Michigan Dining operations.
  • Responsible for the overall variety, quality, presentation, and nutritional value of foods and menu planning activity.
  • Advise the Catering & Retail Operations 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.
  • 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.
  • Collaboratively direct the culinary operations of multiple units through supporting supervisory staff.
  • Provide leadership and support for Michigan Dining in culinary excellence, training, recipe and menu development, purchasing support, and the innovation and execution of new dining concepts.
  • Administer health and safety standards in compliance with University, State and Federal codes and regulations.
  • Demonstrate and enforce HACCP principles to include the supervision and maintenance of the sanitary conditions of food storage, production, serving and other front and back of the house areas. 
  • Conduct routine inspection of preparation, storage and service areas ensuring proper sanitation is maintained as well as health and safety of dining guests.  
  • Participate in the analysis of current and future needs of Michigan Dining Services.
  • Establish an environment of team and individual accountability.

Financial Leadership (20%)

  • Assist in the budget projections for Michigan Dining retail and catering operations in the areas of food and labor cost 
  • Supervise procurement, production and inventory controls.
  • Forecast food consumption and maintain accurate records for ordering.
  • Ensure use of CBORD Foodservice Suite (FSS) to manage inventory, purchasing, production, service records, recipes, menus and cost to ensure the most efficient use of labor and goods.
  • Ensure use of CBORD Eventmaster and EMS to manage event operations and billing accuracy. 
  • Review and monitor operational budgets for dining services and provide counsel and advice to management staff to make operational adjustments as needed.
  • Utilize financial data and statistics to aid informed decision making. Provide information to the Operations Director in the preparation of special and periodic reports for University administration.
  • Participate in and coordinate the formulation of bid specifications for foods, beverages, supplies, and equipment.  Recommend replacement of existing equipment and acquisition of new equipment based on life-cycle and culinary needs.  Serve as department liaison to Procurement Services

Planning and Communication (20%)

  • Assist 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 option, and continuing enhancement of the residential operations.
  • Establish and enforce standards for the preparation and presentation of all foods and beverages. Ensure overall consistency and high quality of food through daily inspection and tasting. 
  • Maintain a visible presence, interacting with staff and customers, during business hours in both front and back of the house.
  • Respond to questions, comments and suggestions and 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 residential operations to ensure that requirements and expectations are met or exceeded. Participate with the Student Advisory Group. 
  • Confer with and interpret dining services programs and services to students, faculty, staff and the public and university at large.  
  • Assist the Operations 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 Operations Director to meet the needs of the department.

Human Resource Management (20%)

  • Participate with the Operations Director in the recruitment, selection, training, development, evaluation and discipline of food services management, supervisory and support staff.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with AFSCME leadership and employeesProvide training and functional supervision for chefs, head cooks, cooks and assistant cooks and other staff as assigned in all areas of production, culinary methods, history and trends.
  • Develop the culinary training curriculum and participate with others in the delivery of training sessions and hands on training, working alongside staff while demonstrating a commitment to individual growth. 
  • Create in collaboration with managers’ professional development plans for culinary staff including ACF certification, competition and demonstration events for chefs.

Programmatic Leadership (5%)

  • Assist the Operations Director in planning, directing, and administering programs, policies and procedures in the areas of sustainability, inclusive 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 Operations Director on contractual agreements as assigned.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Operations Director.

Required Qualifications*

  • Degree in Culinary Arts from an accredited culinary school or European apprenticeship or equivalent experience is desired as a chef. Minimum of seven years or progressively responsible experience as a chef in a high volume, high quality operation (college, university or commercial) with a variety of concepts.
  • TAM, ServSafe and HACCP certified within 60 days of employment is a condition of employment. If the certifications are not acquired within the 60 day period, employment will be terminated.  Certification must be maintained as a condition of employment.
  • American Culinary Federation certification at the Executive Chef level (CEC) must be obtained within 2 years from the date of hire. If the certification is not acquired within the 2-year period, employment will be terminated.  Certification must be maintained as a condition of employment.
  • Able to legally work in the United States.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or related field in addition to culinary degree.
  • Experience with catering operations and regional and national retail brands.
  • Experience with a collectively bargained for workforce.
  • Participation in culinary competitions, demos, and lectures.
  • Experience in construction, renovation and rehabilitation of facilities.
  • Merchandising/ Marketing experience.

Additional Information

Positon Criteria:

  • Experience and comprehensive knowledge of culinary techniques, menu planning, recipe and menu development, dining trends, food ordering and production systems, budget management, use of general and commercial kitchen equipment, preparation, pricing, presentation, and supervision of kitchen personnel.  Demonstration of a high level of knowledge in regional, international, ethnic and special needs/wellness cuisines and processes.
  • Experience with procurement systems, product evaluations, bid specifications, and food industry relations.
  • Demonstrated oral and written English communication skills, including presentation skills. Bilingual helpful.
  • 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.
  • Computer literacy and ability to learn computer software and utilize effectively. Able to work at the computer for extended period of time.
  • Professional appearance, attire and demeanor.
  • Highly organized with good time management skills.
  • A hospitality orientation.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and provide leadership for a diverse workforce.
  • Ability to maintain consistent and regular attendance.
  • Personal and professional integrity.
  • Competencies include:
    • Drive for Excellence
    • Innovation
    • Food and Beverage 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

  • Able to work a flexible schedule with variable weekday hours, some weekends and holidays required.
  • The Campus Executive Chef is classified as a “critical employee” and will be expected to be on site during any 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.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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