Administration, Facilities, Restaurant and Food Service
As a key member of the Campus Dining Team, the Assistant Director assumes a strategic role in the overall planning and management of Campus Dining’s large scale, self-operated dining program. The Assistant Director provides Campus Dining with expertise in dining and hospitality management, procurement and purchasing, sustainability, nutrition initiatives, culinary trends and overall program development. The Assistant Director will be responsible for the daily operations of multiple dining facilities, which combined have annual operating budgets of up to 9.5 million and management of 150+ full time, unionized staff and 50+ student employees, serving over 5,000 meals daily. This position is responsible for monitoring financial and budgetary transactions to ensure efficient operations and expenditures within budget guidelines. This position leads their management team and staff by example, with respect and an orientation of servant-leadership. This includes the development of a student centered dining community where excellence is the standard, diversity is embraced and learning is enhanced.
About the Campus Dining Department:
Vanderbilt Campus Dining takes pride in the culinary creations served from our kitchens. Our Dining program is highly decorated, the winner of many prestigious awards in the food service industry, including Best On-Site Food Service Operation in the Nation, Best Food Service Operator, the prestigious Ivy Award, and many more. We have 4 main dining centers, 10 restaurants and cafes, 6 convenience stores, and we employ over 300 employees.
Key Functions and Expected Performance:
Manage the daily operations of multiple dining facilities, which include a management team (5+) and hourly employees (150+).
Determines strategies for achieving department goals; promotes quality performance and financial feasibility.
Ability to read, interpret and implement long and short term planning in response to data.
Develop strategic plans that include financial targets, innovative dining concepts and service-delivery strategies.
Creates, directs and alters operations to meet financial goals and objectives, audits fiscal performance continually.
Provides strong hands-on leadership in developing and directing a cohesive, respectful team.
Assures services and products offered by Campus Dining meet high quality standards.
Develops and implements policies and procedures for operations, which include purchasing guidelines, hours of operations and daily job training to improve operational success.
Lead staff in the department’s commitment to continually maximizing the procurement of local and sustainable products, minimizing waste, introducing green initiatives, and reducing the impact on our environment.
Prepare retail menus, pricing and operational guidelines that maintain customer satisfaction and a positive budgetary balance.
Monitor computerized food service systems in menu planning, purchasing, inventory, recipe development, payment and accounting.
Actively participate in the student employment program, which includes recruiting, training and scheduling effectiveness.
Consult with administrative staff to develop policies and procedures, evaluate existing policies and procedures, and develop measures of continuous improvement.
Direct the education, training and professional development of management and hourly staff.
Assess and establish efficient workflow and organization of foodservice locations to ensure maximum productivity, safety and sanitation. This includes developing systems to oversee health code compliance, maintenance and repairs.
Assess customer feedback of service quality. Respond to findings with continuous improvement in processes and programs.
Know, understand, and ensure compliance with Collective Bargaining Contract. This includes direct supervision and documentation of all disciplinary processes.
Responsible for all administrative and human-resource functions of the business, including recruiting new employees, job training and monitoring employee performance.
This position has supervisory responsibility; this position reports to the Director of Operations.
Experience and Education:
This position requires a Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 8 years of food operations management experience, at least 4 years in a leadership role.
Preferred Education, Skills and Experience:
The successful candidate will be financially and technologically knowledgeably, innovative, customer focused, and a collaborative leader.
Strong planning, analysis, and management skills that balance strategic, industry, business, and financial factors; ability to read, analyze, and interpret financial statements and/or comprehensive financial reports.
Strong organization skills and the ability to manage simultaneous projects and supervisory responsibilities, often under limited time constraints.
Strong leadership skills, experience leading and developing staff members.
Collaboration skills; and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and collaborative decision making in the workplace
Key Characteristics of a Successful Manager in this Unit:
Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
Naturally Communicates – Readily shares information and is comfortable working within a highly collaborative team. Communicates proactively. Understands that open communication and the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to the success of the team. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.
Sharing – Shares information. Communicates proactively. Transmits knowledge; recognizes that “knowledge is power” is less effective than “sharing knowledge is power.” Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.
Works through Issues – Recognizes that the work is about successful outcomes. If things aren’t going well, outcomes suffer. Is willing to have crucial conversations if things aren’t going well. Doesn’t just complain to management, does everything possible to remedy the situation directly first.
Key Characteristics of Successful Managers at Vanderbilt University
Accountability and Execution
Holds everyone in the workgroup accountable for accomplishing the outcomes of the unit.
Let’s the buck stop with them; owns the outcomes for the work units and doesn’t throw subordinates under the bus if things go wrong.
Practices what they preach; doesn’t set expectations of others that they don’t live up to themselves.
Pitches in to help the team when it really needs help.
Coaching and Developing Staff/Nurturing a Team
Ensures that team members have the tools and resources to do their jobs.
Praises publicly and is genuinely appreciative of the accomplishments of members of the team.
Criticizes privately and focuses more on how to do it better next time than how it went wrong this time.
Willingly shares expertise with team members; actively coaches.
Is clear with deliverables and outcomes needed but allows members of the team to tackle problems in the way they see fit, without micromanaging every process.
Cares about their employees as people, not just resources.
Makes Vanderbilt a fun place to work. Enhances comradery, builds trust and invites members of the work group to be their authentic selves.
Addresses problems among the workgroup quickly when they arise rather than letting them fester.
Makes decisions, even in the face of incomplete information, rather than avoiding making decisions.
Seeks first to understand before making decisions. Doesn’t shoot first and ask questions later.
Solicits input from a diverse group of individuals including members of the work group, other stakeholders and critics, when faced with complex challenges, before making a decision.
Thinks creatively when tackling a challenge; questions the status quo in search of better ways. Looks for insights and assesses risks.
Is willing to course correct if things aren’t going as planned, even after decisions have been made and communicated.
Welcomes inquiry and recognizes mistakes as learning opportunities.
Is willing to learn from their direct reports.
Setting and Communicating Strategy and Direction
Shares a clear vision for the work of the unit and is clear about outcomes are expected.
Provides clear guidance and direction, doesn’t change direction with the wind. Communicates in ways that are clear and succinct, rather than confusing or ambiguous.
Communicates early and often, even as information is evolving.
Champions the work unit’s causes and makes compelling business cases for its needs.
About Vanderbilt University
JDRQUEST&CO is a global executive search firm dedicated to recruiting diverse top talent in higher education and hospitality. We apply over 20 years experience in placing top talent in hospitality companies and leading colleges and universities in the Americas, Europe and Asia.