Director of Dining

Northwestern University in Illinois

Deadline April 10, 2014
Date Posted March 14, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

Northwestern University is a private institution founded in 1851 to serve the Northwest Territory. After completing its first building in 1855, Northwestern began classes that fall with two faculty members and 10 students. Today, nearly 16,500 students study in nine graduate and undergraduate schools on three campuses. Two campuses are located on Lake Michigan: a 240-acre campus in Evanston, the first suburb north of Chicago, and a 25-acre campus in Chicago. One campus is located in Doha, Qatar. Northwestern is recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of its educational programs at all levels. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the University's undergraduate programs among the best in the country. A charter member of the Big Ten and the conference's only private institution, Northwestern sponsors 19 intercollegiate athletic teams (8 men's and 11 women's) and numerous club sports.


Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Student Auxiliary Services, the Director of Dining oversees the contracted service provider for a $45M dining program serving two million equivalent meals per year and consisting of six dining halls, 4000+ meal plans, a full university retail program, and the catering program for the main campus of Northwestern University. The Director provides vision and leadership for planning and overseeing resident dining, catering, and retail food services including operations, policies, pricing, facilities management, capital project planning, contracts, and sustainability practices; develops and implements a strategic master plan for facility renovations, concept offerings, and facility replacement by collaborating with residential services, university center, facilities management, budget planning, and key vendor partners; develops and maintains strong connections with and provides excellent customer service to key campus partners; assesses all aspects of the campus food service program in order to improve offerings, service, and value to clientele; provides performance feedback to and develops objectives with the vendor for all campus dining venues; and leverages technology to improve food services, including the monitoring of food service social media accounts, marketing, product delivery, and assessment.


The successful candidate must possess a bachelor's degree in food science, hotel and restaurant management, business administration or related field, and a minimum of seven years of progressive leadership experience in food service management in a higher education environment. A master's degree and experience with collective bargaining agreements are preferred. Candidates will have excellent written and oral communication skills; outstanding supervisory experience with professional and student staff at varying levels in a campus dining program; demonstrated experience in program development, including contract negotiations with outside vendors; a demonstrated commitment to customer service and assessment, to include experience in marketing dining, retail, and catering programs; a strong background in fiscal planning, budget preparation and management, revenue forecasting, and financial modeling; experience interpreting and explaining profit and loss reports; a demonstrated understanding of special needs of customers, including but not limited to nutrition programs, accommodations for allergies, and working knowledge of ADA issues impacting food service programs; proven competence in managing multiple tasks and competing priorities; a demonstrated record of personal and professional development, and a commitment to social justice. An understanding of higher education environments is required and experience at highly selective institutions like Northwestern is preferred.


Review of applications will begin April 10, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the SJG website at under the link Open Positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Mark Hall at If you are unable to submit materials electronically, please call SJG at 413-529-2895.


SJG - The Spelman & Johnson Group

Northwestern - Director of Dining

Mark A. Hall, Senior Associate


Visit the Northwestern University website at


Northwestern University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.

How To Apply

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