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Associate Director, Culinary Services

Req ID: 6819
Location: Chicago- City Wide
# of Openings: 1
Shift: Varies
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


Summary:  The Associate Director of Culinary Services will report directly to the Director of Culinary Services and will assist in the oversight of all Youth and Residential Services (YRS) kitchens and culinary staff.  This position will be responsible for serving the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program and After-School Snack Program and oversee daily cafeteria operations.  Specific duties will include supervision of front and back-house operations as well as food production, purchase and receipt, monitoring of inventory and data entry.  This position will maintain funder obligations and ensure contract compliance.  The person in this role will be directly involved in food preparation, clean-up, deliveries, and supervise all aspects of catered events. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


·         Oversight of day-to-day operations

·         Ensures that high quality standards of food preparation and services are continually met.

·         Ensures compliance with applicable food service sanitation regulations all other applicable safety standards.

·         Ensure that program needs are consistently met or exceeded.

·         Supervises the Managers of Culinary Services and other kitchen staff.

·         Manages all aspects of the YRS divisional catering operations, including the internal delivery of catering orders as well as service at internally catered special events, (e.g., religious celebrations).

·         Partners with Program Coordinator to ensure menus are nutritionally balanced and that they meet all relevant requirements for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Breakfast and Lunch program, and the After-School Snack program.

·         Assesses and works to improve kitchen processes to continually gain efficiency and realize financial savings.

·         Ensures proper utilization of products and food, proper storage of food, and compliant waste control.

·         Maintains health and safety documentation for the kitchen and dining room, including state fire marshal reports, Board of Health inspections, city and state food service sanitation licenses of all kitchen staff, and other required documentation.

·         Creates a positive work environment and ensures adherence to YRS and Heartland Human Care Services standards.

·         Works with directors/managers at each program site to ensure compliance with food and sanitation regulations.

·         Works with directors/managers at each program site to coordinate, deliver, and monitor regular training of food handling, storage, and preparation.

·         Immediately addresses any potential risks or hazardous conditions.

·         Carries an agency communication device and responds to phone calls and emails in a timely manner, including communications that may come after regular scheduled hours.

·         Participates in the development of strategic plans, service delivery models and other programmatic or operational improvement plans.

·         Maintains an appropriate professional demeanor toward internal and external members, participants and visitors.

·         Assumes an appropriate role in other program tasks or projects, as needed.

·         Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor to address issues as they arise.

·         Prioritizes tasks and exhibits flexibility to take on responsibilities.       

·         Prepares performance evaluations for assigned staff and holds monthly supervision meetings.

·         Participates in interviewing, hiring, discipline, termination and other relevant employment transactions, with guidance from higher-level Management.

·         Performs other duties as assigned.

Ensures the implementation of organization and program/department policies and procedures, such as the Standards of Professional Conduct and others.

Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


·         Education and/or Experience :  4 years of relevant school nutrition program experience.  Strong employee engagement leadership skills, previous supervisory experience and the ability to work collaboratively. Experience in an institutional cafeteria setting or related setting is required in addition to familiarity with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program. Associate’s degree with academic major in Food and Nutrition, Food Service Management, Dietetics, Family and Consumer Sciences, Nutrition Education, Culinary Arts or related field is required.

·         Language Skills:  Written and verbal fluency in English is required. 

·         Licensure: State and city food service sanitation certificate should be valid at time of hire or must be obtained within 3 months of employment; A valid driver’s license is required

·         Mathematical/Computing Skills: Ability to work with and understand financial information and data.  Ability to perform basic arithmetic functions, including but not limited to conversion of recipes and managing inventory. Basic computer skills are required.

·         Interpersonal Skills: Ability to motivate an array of different personalities and skills.  Ability to coach and mentor members of the kitchen staff; can manage multiple priorities, demonstrate professional communication skills, and a passion for a high level of customer service 

·         Other Skills: Have culinary production experience and a strong background in safety and sanitation compliance; Candidate must be able to successfully pass a background check.


Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

·         Ability to stand 90% of time

·         Ability to work long hours as required

  • Required to regularly walk, stoop, kneel, reach, lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.

·         Required to regularly use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms. 

  • Ability to grasp, lift and/or carry up to 40 pounds, or 50 pounds, with assistance, as needed
  • Finger/hand dexterity to operate kitchen machinery, knives, etc.
  • Ability to withstand changes in temperature, occasional smoke, steam and heat and work in a confined area
  • Must possess hearing, visual and sensory abilities to observe and detect emergency situations; also to distinguish product, taste, texture, temperature and presentation and preparation

Work Environment:  Each YRS program site operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days per year.  To meet both the needs of our participants and contractual obligations, employees of YRS need to be willing to be flexible in regards to work location and scheduling, each of which may be altered by program director at any time.  Employees must be willing to perform any duty that may be required due to the needs of the program. 

  • Three primary shifts are scheduled each day including weekends and holidays.  Employees may be required to work any one of these shifts and, if necessary, may be required to work a split-shift, or an extended or shorter shift, based on the needs of the program.
  • All employees share responsibility for the cleaning and basic maintenance of our facilities.

·         Crisis prevention and behavioral management techniques may include physically restraining and physically transporting residents. 


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.

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