Director of Dining Services

Posted: 03/06/17 | SHARE:


Full-time, year round position with benefits, six-figure salary commensurate with experience.

The Director of Dining Services will provide strategic vision, business execution, and innovative leadership to the institution’s food program. This role will oversee all managerial and operational responsibilities associated with a program that encompasses residential dining, retail, catering, and special events. These include, but are not limited to, responsibility for fiscal management, compliance with department and College policies, and the enforcement of regulations mandated by local, state and federal agencies in regard to food safety, health and sanitation.

Reporting to the Chief of Campus Operations, this position will have or develop key relationships with current and prospective external industry professionals, trade associations, and organizational partners. The Director of Dining Services has significant interaction with faculty, staff, students, and parents, and works directly with several other departments including Admissions, Finance, Information Technology Services, and Facilities. Leading a team of six (6) direct reports and almost 200 indirect reports including departmental supervisors, culinary staff, service staff, students, and part-time employees, this individual will support a diverse workforce and participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming professional environment.

The work schedule will vary according to the College’s operational needs. As Dining Services is central to student life, needs occur at a variety of times throughout the day, week, and year and in such, a flexible schedule is required. 

Key Responsibilities


  • Effective fiscal management and planning techniques to meet the business goals and budget objectives of a $10M operation
  • Negotiation and accountability of contractual agreements
  • Strategic direction to enhance sales, service, marketing, and facilities
  • Critical analysis of overall department performance and reporting against key industry metrics
  • Establish and maintain process, protocol, standards, and policies as they relate to the department
  • Build collaborative relationships with administrative offices, department heads, deans, faculty, students, student committees, employees, and alumni.
  • Lead Amherst Dining’s commitment to healthy and sustainable meal options
  • Develop, enhance and maintain departmental safety standards and emergency management systems including long-term food storage, emergency menus, and water supply


  • Integrate Amherst’s own Book and Plow Farm into the dining program and culture, including crop planning, staff skills training, and co-curricular programming with academic and student organization liaisons
  • Ensure an evolving and exciting calendar of special events, celebrations, culinary competitions, and more
  • Exercise an entrepreneurial spirit and approach to shaping future elements and offers of the program

Staff Management

  • Oversee talent acquisition including writing and reviewing job descriptions and promoting postings
  • Provide objective performance management targets and constructive feedback
  • Build employee relations and facilitate conflict resolution
  • Assist with employee professional development including training, coaching and re-enforcement of standards and campus food culture
  • Design and deliver opportunities to increase staff productivity and morale
  • Create and maintain a positive work environment where employees are valued and recognized for their service
  • Foster a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace


  • Perform additional duties/functions as requested, such as external representation of the college at industry and academic conferences



  • Compelling combination of formal education and food service industry experience (e.g. Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in hospitality/restaurant management and/or seven (7) or more years of progressively higher levels of managerial/administrative responsibility and accountability, preferably in a collegiate setting or other high-volume, institutional food service/hospitality operation)
  • Strong business acumen and budget/financial management
  • Understanding of facilities planning and maintenance
  • Culinary insights to inform menu development, sourcing, and food marketing
  • Talent management experience including attracting, developing, motivating and retaining a high-performing, diverse team
  • Target-setting, initiative implementation, and performance tracking
  • Commitment to delivering exceptional customer service
  • Effective time management and organizational skills
  • Proactive and creative problem solving to meet dynamic food program demands
  • Clear and professional, verbal and written communication skills for a variety of settings including internal team facilitation, customer interaction, public speaking, and social media
  • Highly developed computer skills including extensive experience using Microsoft Office Suite, email and web applications, as well as an interest in and ability to learn new programs
  • Use of event management software, enterprise software, and other software and office equipment to effectively complete tasks, coordinate group needs, and manage projects
  • Current ServSafe Manager Certification or ability to achieve within (6) months of employment
  • Allergen Awareness or the ability to achieve within (6) months as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


  • Professional training in nutrition, sustainability, food systems, agriculture, public health or other related field
  • Proficiency in a second language
  • Valid driver’s license


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information (e-mail and/or telephone number) for three professional references.  Review of applications will begin March 20, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.  For information on benefits, please visit

This institution is using Interfolio's ByCommittee to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

Apply Now

Return to job listings