Associate Project Leader, Food Innovation Team

About the Job:

Taco Bell's Food Innovation Team (FIT) is looking for a Product Developer to join their team. The specific position is an Associate Project Leader reporting to a Manager of Product Development. The primary responsibility of the position is to be the FIT Project Lead on multiple programs within 1- 2 food pillars, developing ingredients and products to fulfill the national calendar.

The Food Innovation Team is a dynamic function within the Taco Bell organization, highly creative yet disciplined, and the launching point for menu innovation. The team consists of a mix of Food Scientists, Chefs, QA/QC Experts, Dietitions, Microbiologists and Test Kitchen staff.

The ideal candidate for this role is a highly motivated individual with demonstrated strength in project management: prioritizing direction from supervisor & other leadership, effective multi-tasking while focusing on the most important issues, delivering results within timelines and identifying barriers/issues while working independent and formulating a path to solution. This position is ideal for individuals with high accountability, strong analytical skills, great communication style, a partnership mentality and comfort turning facts into recommendations.

This is a demanding role where the individual will work regularly with partners in other functional areas like Marketing, Finance, Operations and Consumer Insights, therefore communication skills are critical. The individual must be able to influence cross-functional business partners and effectively provide a point-of-view on complex business issues to team members and senior management from a wholistic Food Innovation Team perspective. Finally, this individual must enjoy having fun and enjoys working in a collaborative team culture!

The Day-to-Day:

  • Support 1-2 Menu Development Pillars by acting as FIT lead on project teams: this includes attending team meetings, coordinating Test Kitchen working sessions, summarizing data/results and communicating with supervisor/leadership
  • Participate in Product Development team working sessions, sharing and collaborating ideas and protoypes
  • Prioritze direction from supervisor and leadership to facilitate programs and deliver results in a timely manner
  • Manage multiple suppliers and vendors, providing clear direction, feedback and next steps
  • Partnering with other FIT peers (QA/Food Safety) to ensure all new ingredients/products meet Quality and Safety requirements, and are thoroughly tested to confirm
  • Deliver presentations with a high degree of competence and can discuss the issues as well as the facts in response to questions from Taco Bell Leadership and/or Franchisee Business Partners
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, as well as work efficiently and adapt to styles of a wide range of peers and partners

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