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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

The Director of Catering Operations is responsible for the overall success of Michigan Catering and maintaining the highest level  satisfaction for guests, students, faculty, staff,  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 Director is responsible for oversight and implementation of all alcohol policies and procedures. The Director oversees the daily operations of the Catering operations in four on-site locations and any off-site operations events, as well as key executive and University development programs.


Operational Leadership (50%)

  • Serve as a member of the Michigan Dining leadership team with responsibility for the planning and directing the administrative, operational and developmental activities of the Catering Services.
  • Plan, develop and administer the administrative, operational and developmental activities of multiple catering operations.
  • With the Culinary teams and Catering Managers plan, develop and administer the operational policies and procedures, food production standards and methods, and menu guidelines in consistent with the development of the catering operations.  
  • Advise the 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 that participate in catered events.
  • Direct the operations of multiple units through supporting supervisory staff.
  • Maintain the highest standards of food quality and service to guests and customers of the Catering Department.  
  • Maintain the highest possible customer service and employee satisfaction levels.
  • Maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with guests, customers and the University.
  • Be available to inspect and over-see on-site operations at events such as weddings and conferences, as well as key executive and University Development events.
  • Administer health and safety standards in compliance with University, State and Federal codes and regulations.
  • Administer alcohol policy and standards in compliance with University, State and Federal codes and regulations.  
  • Collaborate closely with the Conference and Events department to establish best practices, deliver events that meet and exceed expectations, and increase market share.  
  • Participate in the analysis of current and future needs of Michigan Dining Services.
  • Establish an environment of team and individual accountability.

Human Resources (15%)

  • 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 employees.

Financial Leadership (10%)

  • Prepare budget projections for Michigan Dining catering operations for review and approval of the Operations Director.  
  • Train, coordinate and direct proper cash handling, financial, and accounting practices and procedures.
  • 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 Operations Director in the preparation of special and periodic reports for University administration.

Planning and Communication (10%)

  • 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 option, and continuing enhancement of the 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 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.
  • Assist the Operations Director in evaluating the the effectiveness of catering 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 (5%)

  • Advise 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.
  • Implement programs as approved by the Operations Director.

Sanitation & Safety (5%)

  • Enforces proper sanitation standards in compliance with regulations, OSEH and HACCP policies and U-M standards; maintains HACCP records.
  • Ensures that all employees are compliant with mandatory health and educational requirements.  
  • Ensures a safe work environment that includes education on proper safety and ergonomic techniques, as well as provide supplies to ensure employee safety as required.

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.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Operations Director.

Required Qualifications*

  • B.A. or B.S. in Food Service Management, Culinary Arts, Nutrition, Business, or combination of equivalent experience is required.  
  • Five years’ operational experience in catering /banquet management and sales at the management level.
  • TAM and ServSafe 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.
  • Able to legally work in the United States.

Competencies include:

  • Drive for Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Catering and Hospitality 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

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience in a higher education setting
  • Merchandising/ Marketing experience
  • Bilingual languages
  • Experience with a collective bargained-for workforce desired

Additional Information

PLEASE NOTE:  This role may have reporting obligations under Title IX or Clery.

Position Criteria:

  • 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, able to utilize and learn computer software effectively.
  • 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

Working conditions

  • Evening hours, weekends and holidays as required
  • The Director for Catering 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

  • Able to maintain a static position for extended periods of time while preparing food; and move and transport objects weighing 25 - 30 pounds.

Direct reports

Culinary Managers and Food Service Senior Supervisors.



U-M EEO/AA Statement

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