The Walt Disney Company Director, Culinary-Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

At Disney, we‘re storytellers. We make the impossible, possible. We do this through utilizing and developing cutting-edge technology and pushing the envelope to bring stories to life through our movies, products, interactive games, parks and resorts, and media networks. Now is your chance to join our talented team that delivers unparalleled creative content to audiences around the world.

“We create happiness.” That’s our motto at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. And it permeates everything we do. At Disney, you’ll help inspire that magic by enabling our teams to push the limits of entertainment and create the never-before-seen!

The Walt Disney World Resort features four theme parks, twenty-eight Disney owned and operated hotels with more than 30,000 rooms, two water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney Springs, a dining shopping and entertainment complex. An on-site 7,500 foot state of the art research and development facility, the Flavor Lab, serves as the home to all culinary innovations, new food & beverage concept menu development, equipment testing and training.

Food and beverage is a significant part of the Disney vacation experience and we are known for our diverse dining options from food trucks to Five Diamond restaurants. With over 500 food and beverage locations, the Walt Disney World Resort serves over 60 million meals annually.

From small bites to signature dining, character dining and healthy options, Disney chefs are in charge of outstanding kitchens. Disney’s food and beverage program continues to hire and train some of the top chefs in the culinary industry. Over 300 chefs are in culinary management including many graduates of top culinary programs.

The Director, Culinary-Walt Disney World will provide the culinary vision that inspires the team to deliver exceptional world class meals. The director will lead quality standards and will provide culinary education at all levels. He/she will be responsible for menu development, revenue and cost of sales. The director will partner with Food & Beverage site executives, functional disciplines, internal partners and industry experts within a matrix structure to jointly accomplish Walt Disney World Food & Beverage goals.

The director will report to the Vice President of Food and Beverage. This role has a significant level of visibility; an ideal candidate has a high level of comfort in working with executives across the organization. Executive interactions include project partnerships, individual meetings, and large-scale Executive Committee presentations.

Responsibilities :

  • Provide leadership and development to Walt Disney World culinary leadership

  • Incorporate corporate and Food & Beverage strategies, standards and priorities into new initiatives, concepts and work streams

  • Continually advance and evolve the guest dining experience through innovations in industry trends, health and wellness, technology, equipment, design, sustainability, and safety

  • Partner with food and beverage concept development team in the creation of menus that complement the portfolio, drive quality and maximize value

  • Establish systems, practices and processes to monitor business performance and proactively address gaps in experience, quality or key performance metrics

  • Establish a strategic approach for existing business growth; position WDW Food & Beverage as a key business driver of overall Guest visitation, experience excellence, and profitability

  • Partner with key Food & Beverage industry leaders, senior executives, internal clients and partners in the development and delivery of new menu development and initiatives that drive growth

  • Lead recruitment of culinary leadership including development of an apprenticeship program

  • Represent the organization and participate in industry related organizations and associations

  • Serve as liaison with top culinary schools

  • Partner with Strategic Sourcing to align products to optimize cost efficiencies and maximize margins

  • Consult on all labor relations and safety aspects impacting culinary operations

  • Plan, organize and deliver project updates and menu presentations for senior executives up to and including site Presidents, Chairman, CEO, and Board of Directors

  • Stay current with internal and external benchmarking to identify sustainable and measurable applications, which may be executed for guest and/or cast experience improvement, revenue growth, or cost initiative implementation

  • Communicate with site-level client groups to maintain an understanding of priorities, business requirements, climate, environmental impacts, and overall landscape of conditions and attitudes affecting food and beverage operations

  • Leverage/engage a broad audience of key stakeholders, partner groups and operations clients including but not limited to Environmental Services, contractors, Walt Disney Imagineering, Facility Asset Management, Safety Services, Engineering Services, and Architecture and Facility Engineering.

  • Partner with Corporate Citizenship on the Responsible Food Policy, and drive Sustainable Seafood, Animal Welfare and Food Waste initiatives

Basic Qualifications :

  • Minimum of ten (10) years progressive leadership experience in the culinary field including 5 years as an executive chef

  • Broad culinary background including international and regional cooking experience

  • Possess knowledge of the latest trends and technologies with proven relationships with industry influences to proactively transfer knowledge to the greater team.

  • Proven experience and success leading food safety and healthy practices and initiatives

  • Proven ability to effectively lead in a fast paced, highly dynamic global environment with a focus on increasing heart of house efficiency while considering front of house operating environments

  • Demonstrated passion and commitment to diversity including inviting diverse perspectives, fostering an inclusive work environment and supporting workforce diversity

  • Proven ability to foster innovative thinking and appropriate risk taking

  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to communicate to all levels

  • Possess unquestioned ethics and integrity

  • Proven experience on leading and developing culinary talent at multiple levels within the organization.

Required Education :

  • Degree in Culinary Arts or formal apprenticeship program; Advanced culinary degree preferred

Additional Information :

©Disney is an equal opportunity employer. Drawing Creativity from Diversity.

Job ID: 531299BR

Location: Lake Buena Vista,Florida

Job Posting Company: Disney Parks & Resorts