Associate Project Leader, Product Development

Who is Taco Bell?

Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant (QSR) brand. From breakfast to late night, Taco Bell serves made-to-order and customizable tacos and burritos, among other craveable choices, and is the first QSR restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified menu items. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations proudly serve over 42 million customers each week through nearly 7,000 restaurants across the nation, as well as through its mobile, desktop and delivery ordering services.

Overseas, Taco Bell has over 300 restaurants, with plans to add 2,000 more restaurants internationally within the next decade. The brand encourages its fans to “Live Mas” and connects with them through sports, gaming and new music via its Feed The Beat® music program. Taco Bell also provides education opportunities and serves the community through its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell® Foundation™, and connects fans with their passions through programs such as the Live Mas Scholarship program. In 2016, Taco Bell was named as one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the World.

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

 Is This You?

  • BA/BS required; Science degree preferred (e.g., Food Science, Chemistry, Physics, etc.)
  • 3-5 years work experience: Project/Product Management, Ingredient/Product Development
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with ability to partner well with other team members and interface effectively with all levels of management
  • Demonstrated success influencing peers/customers or stakeholders and leading projects in cross-functional settings
  • Strong organizational skills, with ability to work independently and multi-task in a complex, fast-paced, and deadline-driven environment
  • Resourceful nature, with strong problem-solving ability and desire to drive results

Why Taco Bell?

We truly believe that where you work matters, and we know a thing or two about what makes employees happy. Join us on our mission of feeding people’s lives with más!

 Work-Hard, Play-Hard:

  • On-site child care
  • On-site gym with fitness classes and personal trainer sessions
  • On-site dining center & lounge (yes, there is a Taco Bell Restaurant inside the building)
  • Free snacks, soda, coffee and more
  • Bagel & Donut Fridays
  • Game room w/ Sports Memorabilia
  • On-site dry cleaning and laundry services
  • On-site carwash
  • On-site salon services, including: massages, hair, nails, chiropractic and waxing treatments
  • Year round half-day Fridays
  • 4 weeks of vacation per year plus Holidays
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Virgin Pulse (exercise incentive program)
  • Discounts for life’s adventures (ex: theme parks, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, etc.)
  • Favorable Family Leave Act support and Adoption Assistance
  • Generous Parental Leave Policy

Meet Some of Taco Bell's Employees

Melissa F.

Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing & Insights Lab

As head of the Brand Marketing and Insights Lab Team, Melissa's role encompasses two major components—mining through culture and trends in addition to developing new products and menu items—in order to engage consumers with the Taco Bell brand.

Asya M.

Head of Total Rewards

Asya focuses on keeping Taco Bell employees engaged by designing and administering a mixture of field compensation, recognition, and wellness programs.

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