The Position

ROLE OF THE POSITION

Reporting to the Executive Director of Dining Services, the director of retail dining operations provides senior leadership, managerial support, and fiscal oversight to various retail and concessions operations for the University of Richmond. As the key administrator for strategic planning, financial accountabilities, and operations, the director is responsible for sales in nine retail units exceeding $5.6 million annually, and supervision for approximately 12 managers, 55 hourly staff, and student employees. The director creates an environment that encourages maximum productivity, positive employee morale, teamwork, engagement, and open communication; directs and oversees recruitment, training and development programs for teams and individuals; and fosters a culture of culinary innovation and excellence in customer service. In addition, the director plans, develops, and monitors the operational policies and procedures for food production standards and methods, menu guidelines, and development for retail operations; analyzes usage and other customer trends for each operational unit; develops and recommends the annual budgets; and manages monthly financial statements within approved plans.

Additional duties and responsibilities of the position include:

  • Identifying new opportunities, revenue streams, and technologies within the industry.
  • Providing assistance and support to the dining director in developing and implementing plans for renovations, operational improvements, and new construction in response to the needs of campus constituents.
  • Assisting in developing effective marketing and strategic plans to evaluate customer satisfaction and needs.
  • Fostering culinary excellence and innovation. Utilizes food management inventory and recipe computer system.
  • Generating and analyzing benchmark data against peer institutions and local retail establishments to develop and monitor measurable performance standards.
  • Developing and documenting best practices to ensure efficiency and consistency in department operations, sustainability practices, customer service, and sanitation standards.
  • Supervising directly two assistant directors and a concessions manager. Through direct reports, is responsible for full- and part-time staff and students. Conducts performance reviews and recommends salary increases, promotions, etc.
  • Projecting a positive image to promote the interests of the department.
  • Employing multiple methods of communication to internal and external members of the department and university community.
  • Establishing and maintaining positive working relationships and effective partnerships with colleagues.
  • Keeping an open line of communication with the student body, monitoring student response to improve services, and participation in focus groups.
  • Establishing and maintaining standards of quality, service, safety, sanitation, and cleanliness.
  • Ensuring compliance with applicable health and safety regulations and managing emergency procedures in assigned operational areas.
  • Working cooperatively with the facilities department to ensure the safety, maintenance, and upgrades of operations buildings and equipment.
  • Working with OneCard Services to manage Micros; oversees Grubhub systems and mobile ordering.
  • Coordinating and leading special projects for the department, as assigned.
  • Managing the financial operations of retail operations, including developing and monitoring budgets, managing revenues and expenditures to meet established goals, and overseeing accounting responsibilities.
  • Ensuring compliance with established cash handling and financial and procurement processes/practices. Implementing effective control of costs within all retail areas.
  • Maintaining responsibility for all financial assets of the department, including all physical inventory and petty cash.
  • Working collaboratively with the executive director to set pricing, annual rates, and adjustments to meal plans.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

A bachelor’s degree and at least eight years of related experience are required. Supervisory experience and experience within a higher education setting are preferred. The ideal candidate will possess an understanding of higher education infrastructure, missions, and operations with the ability to communicate and establish relationships across a spectrum of faculty, staff, and students, and will demonstrate the high ethical standards, tact, and diplomacy required to work with the university’s structure. In addition, candidates will possess strong customer service and problem-solving skills; in-depth knowledge of current food trends and food preparation and presentation techniques; excellent fiscal management, planning, and analysis skills; and thorough knowledge of best practices in retail management. Other required skills include:

  • Ability to apply critical thinking, exercise flexibility, and work calmly and efficiently under pressure.
  • Effective communication, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Effective management of diverse human resource needs, as well as training and delegation skills.
  • Ability to learn and use current technologies.
  • Current Serv Safe certification or the ability to earn certification within six months of hire.
  • Excellent fiscal management, planning and analysis skills.

Additionally, University of Richmond stakeholders consistently identified several attributes to be essential characteristics of the ideal candidate. These include:

  • Ability to apply critical thinking, exercise flexibility, and work calmly and efficiently under pressure.
  • Excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.
  • Strong aptitude for verbal and written communication, presentation, and relationship development.
  • Effective management of diverse human resource needs; ability to identify, develop, and provide workforce training opportunities for staff at all levels.
  • Demonstrated understanding of special needs of customers including, but not limited to, nutrition, religious, dietary, and ADA requirements.
  • Thorough knowledge of best practices in management for retail food service operations.
  • A strong collaborative approach to teamwork, organization, administration, and problem-solving.
  • Ability to learn and use current technologies.
  • Designated as essential personnel.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

Many members of the senior dining staff have extensive experience at UR and will be able to provide the new director with historical knowledge of the program’s evolution since becoming a self-op in 1978. The retirement of some dining service leaders in coming years will lead to a loss of experience and institutional history, while also providing an opportunity to bring new members to the team.

The new director will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges:

  • Dining Services has developed an award-winning program that is respected and valued on the campus. The director must work to maintain those programs currently being well run while also continually looking to improve dining operations. It is hoped the director will emphasize efficiencies without sacrificing quality, encourage creativity, review marketing plans, review staff training needs, and consistently focus on customer relations.
  • It will be necessary for the director to develop creative approaches to working within a tight labor market and retaining valued members of the staff. Staff needs a director who is motivational and can help keep people enthused about their work.
  • Director must continue to emphasize culinary and service excellence, food safety and sanitation as elemental to the retail dining program.
  • Dining Services has a broad impact across campus and has an exceptionally wide group of users. The director must therefore be a good “people person” and work to develop positive connections with multiple stakeholder groups and individuals.
  • Director must continually assess how retail dining plays a role in students’ residential experience and personal and academic success.
  • It will be necessary to encourage best practices dialog among direct reports and more broadly within the department.
  • Director must demonstrate a management style that involves students and network with student leaders in an ongoing, visible manner.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Richmond community, the following items will initially define success for the new director of retail dining operations:

  • The director should possess a leadership style that is both visionary and strategic while remaining flexible to opportunities presented to the dining operation.
  • The director will have established strong working relationships and partnerships with peers, direct reports, students, and key institutional colleagues.
  • A culture of shared responsibility and accountability among all direct reports and respective staff groups is supported.
  • Staff expectations are communicated, and performance is carefully assessed, with delineated opportunities for growth and continual improvement identified, monitored, and measured.
  • The director will be seen as an effective leader with ideas about enhancing the organization. Staff members will trust and support the vision for the future.

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF DINING SERVICES

Dining Services at the University of Richmond is an award-winning program. In 2020 it was ranked #14 in the Princeton Review, and over the years Dining Services has won many industry awards for residential, retail, and catering operations.

The Dining Services team strives to offer unrivaled culinary experiences every day. High standards of professionalism are focused on the well-being of students and fueling the pursuits of the campus community. The three areas of focus are:

  • Excellence: “We are committed to provide excellence in culinary experiences, catering events, customer service and educational opportunities.”
  • Healthy Dining: “Our goal is to nourish our while teaching students to “eat smart”; engaging them to make healthy choice and a holistic approach to their relationship with food.”
  • Sustainability: “From green purchasing, recycling, efficient storage and waste reduction, we remain focused on being good stewards of our institutional resources and leaders in these efforts within our industry.”

A diverse selection of retail dining locations is available across the University of Richmond campus.

DINING LEADERSHIP

Terry Baker – Executive Director of Dining Services

Terry Baker has served as the University of Richmond’s executive director of dining services since 2019. Baker, a nationally recognized leader in dining services, currently serves as a trustee for the National Association of College and University Food Services and has 25 years of experience in higher education dining.

Baker previously served as dining services director at the State University of New York-Cortland, overseeing all residential, retail, concessions, and catering activities. Prior to her role in New York, she spent nearly nine years at Oklahoma State University as dining services director, overseeing a program that included 31 dining operations, $24 million in annual revenue, and served more than 23,000 students.

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

Founded in 1830 in Richmond, Virginia, the University of Richmond provides a collaborative learning and research environment unlike any other in higher education, offering students an extraordinary combination of the liberal arts with law, business, leadership studies, and continuing education. As a top-25 liberal arts university, UR celebrates the idea of a changing and evolving world, and they make it a mission to prepare Spiders to lead it. The university currently enrolls approximately 3,150 undergraduates from 47 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and 62 countries, as well as 855 graduate/professional students.

  • 3,890 total enrollment (3,164 undergrads, 726 grad students)
  • 47 states represented, not including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico
  • 62 countries represented by undergraduates
  • 28% of undergraduates are American students of color
  • 9% of undergraduates are international students
  • 17% of undergraduates who come from Virginia

INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP

Kevin F. Hallock – President

Kevin F. Hallock was inaugurated as the 11th president of the University of Richmond in April 2022.

An award-winning teacher, Hallock is a labor market economist and author or editor of 11 books and over 100 publications. He has taught courses in many areas, including labor economics, microeconomics, applied econometrics, and finance. He has been a mentor to students throughout his career, serving as advisor or dissertation committee chair for 50 Ph.D. students.

Before coming to Richmond, Hallock spent a total of 26 years on the faculties of the University of Illinois and Cornell University. Most recently he was Dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and served as Joseph R. Rich ’80 Professor and Director of the Institute for Compensation Studies at Cornell.

MISSION, VALUES, AND VISION

Mission

The mission of the University of Richmond is to educate in an academically challenging, intellectually vibrant, and collaborative community dedicated to the holistic development of students and the production of scholarly and creative work. A Richmond education prepares students for lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a diverse world.

Values

  • Student Growth
  • Pursuit of Knowledge
  • Inclusivity and Equity
  • Diversity and Educational Opportunity
  • Ethical Engagement
  • Responsible Stewardship

Vision

The University will be a leader in higher education, preparing students to contribute to, and succeed in, a complex world; producing knowledge to address the world’s problems; and modeling the way that colleges and universities can effectively meet the challenges of the time.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION

In order to fulfill the mission to “educate students for lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a diverse world,” the university must work together to make Richmond a welcoming place for people from all backgrounds, identities, viewpoints, and experiences.

“Our commitment is unwavering. Our goals are clear. Our challenges are many. Our work is ongoing.”

Benefits Overview

The University of Richmond offers an extensive benefits package that includes comprehensive health insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan, and tuition remission covering both credit and non-credit courses, in addition to several other programs and services offered to eligible faculty and staff.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Mark Hall at mah@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

Visit the University of Richmond website at www.richmond.edu

The University has a policy of non-discrimination with regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, status as a veteran, or any classification protected by local, state or federal law. It is the intent of the University’s employment and personnel practices to conform with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding non-discrimination. It is the obligation of each employee of the University in his or her area of responsibility to adhere to this policy.