Based out of our Home Office and Test Kitchen (Yummm U) in Greenwood Village, CO The Director of Product Development & QA is responsible for elevating Brand protection, maintaining and improving Guest satisfaction, and improving food and beverages offered at Red Robin. This role will consistently uphold Red Robin's food safety programs and audit standards, enhance product quality and safety from producer to plate, and ensure cost competitive product development from project initiation through to full commercialization. The Director is expected to bring analytical and commercialization experience to the Menu Team while working collaboratively with Innovation/Culinary, Supply Chain and Marketing to support initiative success.
• Continuously provide the resources and leadership for successful development and commercial scale up of new foods, changes to existing foods for food improvement or cost efficiencies, and alternate supplier approvals, which support the menu vision and other supply chain and Brand initiatives
• Directs and develops R&D projects that require consumer sensory testing, in order to collaborate with Consumer Insights and execute best-in-class sensory analyses
• Direct food safety programs that ensure adherence to Red Robin's food safety standards for suppliers and restaurant operations as well as driving new quality and food safety initiatives
• Assure product quality and safety standards via surveillance programs such as Test Kitchen analytical center, third party audits, supplier data analysis programs, and other best-in-class approaches
• Actively monitor potential threats to Red Robin's food and beverage supply and restaurants inclusive of, but not limited to outbreak potentials, product recalls, regulatory activity, etc.
• Develop and direct programs and processes to ensure regulatory requirements, including food code, nutritional panel, ingredient declarations, and allergen information - US and Canada
• Interface with internal crisis team, external communications teams, and external regulatory agencies during crisis situations to impact the Brand; direct food safety team in times of such crises
• Builds relationships with multiple functions (Marketing, Supply Chain, Culinary/Innovation, Legal etc.) and suppliers/vendors with open channels of communication and collaboration to improve and protect the Brand
• Establishes and maintains the highest possible standards of scientific excellence and professionalism; other duties as assigned
• Minimum 10+years experience working in quality assurance/food safety management and R&D within retail/foodservice, food manufacturing, or similar environment. Combinations of variable work environments above is preferred and beneficial.
• Graduate level education with technical education in Food Science & Technology, Food Microbiology, Public Health concentrated on food environments, or similar.
• Ability to successfully direct and develop multi-disciplinary teams with myriad goals supporting Red Robin
• Knowledge of food manufacturing processes and ability to effectively communicate with food scientist, product developers, account managers, and culinary teams
• Ability to use industry resources to seek knowledge and solve problems and implement creative solutions that are operationally feasible
• Subject matter expert in food processing and ingredient science
• Ability to handle crisis situations effectively
• Ability to interpret statistics and research data and apply it to Red Robin's needs
• In-depth regulatory knowledge relating to USDA, FDA, health departments, HACCP
• Clear understanding of logistics of supply chain, timing, and needs
• Excellent communication skills with ability to manage up and manage down as appropriate
• Ability to be influential using technical and scientific information for the protection and benefit of Red Robin
• Ability to effectively direct product recalls and withdrawals
• Ability to professionally represent Red Robin at conferences and other industry engagements
• Continue to stay abreast of industry standards and expectations for our industry
• Excellent leadership, organization and negotiation skills
• High level of integrity and highly developed work ethic
• Ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment while maintaining flexibility and poise
• May travel up to 30%
• Live and work in Denver-based location
Red Robin is an Equal Opportunity & E-Verify Employer