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Director of Culinary Excellence

WesleyLife • Kansas City, KS

Posted 30 days ago

Job Snapshot

Experience - 10 years
Food, Healthcare - Health Services, Restaurant
Restaurant - Food Service, Hospitality - Hotel, Health Care

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Job Description

WesleyLife Director of Culinary Excellence

Culinary guru focused on providing exceptional quality, service and a positive customer experience?  Have you led and overseen multi-site dietary excellence initiatives?  If you are seeking an opportunity to highlight and expand your dining services skills within an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others, check out what WesleyLife has to offer!


About us:  WesleyLife is a nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to serving adults, since 1947. We offer a continuum of person-centered care throughout Iowa.  Come July, we expand into Illinois and the Quad Cities via a new business venture under the WesleyLife umbrella called WellSpire.  Currently, we have eight Communities for Healthy Living, which will quickly increase up to twelve with the next couple years.  Our WesleyLife At Home Services span fifteen counties, includes home-based care, community nutrition and transportation, and continues to grow. 


Given our growth, WesleyLife has a newly created position- Director of Culinary Excellence.


Who you are:  We created this brand new opportunity to continue and expand our pursuit of culinary excellence.  The Director of Culinary Excellence will lead innovative culinary efforts through creation, implementation and further development and expansion of all things related to providing a high-level culinary experience for our residents and their families, team members and the communities in which we serve.  It is about enhancing service, hospitality and meeting and exceeding nutritional guidelines and needs.  You recognize the importance of offering a variety of choices and welcome input on how to best marry quality, quantity and potential individual dietary restrictions.  You are a strategic visionary who emphasizes atmosphere and experience that highlight skill and superb quality, taste and presentation.  The Director of Culinary Experience creates and implements organizational-wide standards, systems, policies and processes centered on the fundamentals of health and well-being, promoting social connections, fresh food and exceptional service.


You are a motivator, someone who appreciates the importance of leading, coaching and developing others and while encouraging and promoting their successes.  You are positive and possess a high degree of interpersonal skills.  You are an effective communicator and collaborator with the ability to both directly and indirectly lead leaders to accomplish the work of the organization.  The Director of Culinary Excellence thrives on the opportunity to introduce new ideas, influence team members and lead change efforts to facilitate movement toward both strategic WesleyLife organizational-wide goals and culinary excellence goals.



·         Serving as the organizational-wide subject matter expert via identifying, developing, revising and expanding upon WesleLife’s dining, food and beverage best practices.

·         Recommend, promote, elevate and implement strategies and initiatives that value consistent hospitality and service excellence, quality and health & well-being throughout the organization.

·         Ensures consistent food quality and presentation while enhancing nutrition approaches, such as recipe creation and menu planning that aligns with dietary recommendations and restrictions.

·         Create WesleyLife signature culinary experiences and events centered on our beliefs that eating wisely and be connected promote health and well-being.

·         Research trends and best practices and implement pilot programs, as well as revamp current initiatives through innovative ideas that would positively impact our food, beverage and community nutrition services.

·         Strategically design and present business plans and goals that improve existing service lines, promote continued growth, as well as assists dining services leaders with achieving performance goals, in terms of expense management such as purchasing goods and inventory control, which includes levering economic resources that benefit those we serve and ensure financial stewardship to achieve goals.

·         Collaborate effectively with leaders across the organization through participating in workforce development initiatives to cultivate new pipelines of talent, engage current and future team members and retain new talent through consistent new hire orientation and training practices, as well as ongoing culinary training and food & beverage competency programs in partnership with the Director of Organizational Learning. 

·         In collaboration with Executive Directors and Food and Beverage leaders, develop accountability measurements and mechanisms, to include but are not limited to audits, quality assurance checks and rules and regulations compliance, including creation of short term and long term action plans and performance improvement timelines and communicate progress toward monthly, quarterly and annual goals and the achievement of expected outcomes.

·         Build and maintain positive internal and external partnerships and relationships, which may include working with schools, restaurants, government organizations, team members in leadership, non-leadership and direct report capacity, dieticians, as well as residents, their families and the greater communities in which we serve.

·         Foster a positive, open communication environment via actively seeking and welcoming internal and external insights and opinions, and internal and external surveys and then utilize that knowledge to work with leaders across the organization to integrate suggestions that meet and exceed expectations.

·         Other duties as assigned, such as special projects and assignments that may involve an extensive variety of cross-departmental and multi-site locations and partnership approaches.

Job Requirements


·         Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts, Hotel Restaurant, Hospitality or a related field is preferred.  Other education and diversity of experience will be recognized.

·         10+ years prior industry experience in progressively complex culinary positions.  

·         5+ years of culinary leadership experience with proven success in the implementation of new culinary and/or hospitality strategies.

·         Demonstrated culinary/chef experience.  Chef Certification (ACF) is highly preferred, yet ability to obtain will be considered. 

·         Experience in change management and leading others both directly and indirectly through positive changes.

·         Exceptional verbal and written communication skills with prior experience effectively influencing and negotiating with executive leadership, management and front-line team members.

·         Strong critical thinking skills, promoting and problem-solving complex business issues effectively as well as the ability to use data to make good decisions. 

·         Current and valid driver’s license is required to support regional travel requirements (and we offer fleet vehicles for travel needs).


**Given our Network Support Center (corporate office) is in Johnston, Iowa and majority of our CHLs are within an hour of the Des Moines metro area, we are looking for someone to relocate, if not currently living within the area.**

WesleyLife offers great benefits!  Our health and wellness perks are amazing!  Because of our commitment to health and well-being, candidates must successfully complete a pre-hire health assessment, drug and nicotine screen prior to employment.  Click on the following link to learn more about WesleyLife:  WesleyLife offers fantastic employment opportunities where you can personally contribute to increasing the value of life for aging individuals!

Job ID: 450160.2
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