R&D Culinologist for Papa John's Pizza

Job Title: R&D Culinologist

Job Family: Marketing                

Job Function: Marketing: Product & Menu Development

Job Function Summary:

The R&D Culinologist acts as the lead technical role within the R&D/Culinary Team. This role encompasses new and existing product optimization, formula changes and cost improvement initiatives.  Includes executing cross-functional product and sensory evaluations.  Creating and maintaining all nutritional data for new and existing products. Manages the school lunch program, creating and assisting with recipes and nutritional data for franchisee bids.

Job Purpose: This role leads all technical R&D components on current and future product offerings for Papa Johns as part of the business strategy.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Involved with proprietary ingredient development in conjunction with QA Commercialization
  • Create preliminary specifications for future Papa John’s products.
  • Manages the school lunch program consisting of revising or creating new recipes for school bids including all nutritional assets.
  • Works directly with suppliers to obtain all current and new product nutritional information
  • Maintain nutritional and allergen database with new products and ingredient modifications
  • Conduct formal product evaluation cuttings with key team members within the organization
  • Responsible for answering online consumer nutritional and ingredient inquiries
  • Interact and communicate effectively with R&D peers and Management group. Including the ability to present both verbal and written findings, project reports, and status updates

 Functional Skills:            

  • Analytical Skills: effectively uses data to generate insights for operations excellence
  • Planning & Prioritization: highest impact, highest value
  • Communicates Effectively and Candidly
  • Problem Solving; ability to use rigorous logic to solve problems with innovative effective solutions
  • Ability to manage multiple projects under tight deadlines and be organized
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, deadline-driven environment, and to balance changing priorities to drive key projects to completion with minimal supervision
  • Demonstrated high level of creativity and personal initiative, and a natural sense of inquisitiveness and curiosity

 Education, Experience & Certifications:

  • BS in Food Science and culinary background
  • 5+ years of food industry experience, formal product development process experience
  • Computer proficiency (Microsoft Office, database, Internet, and documentation software required
  • Working experience with Genesis software
  • Knowledge of Nutrition and labeling guidelines
  • Knowledge of Nutritional and Labeling Guidelines, including working with K-12 lunch programs

 Financial: TBD

Reporting relationship: Director of Culinary

Key Internal Interactions:

  • Management Team
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Stakeholders: Procurement, Quality Assurance & Food Safety, Nutrition & Regulatory, technology, Peer Culinary Managers

 Key External Interactions:

  • Suppliers

 Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the team member is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The team member frequently is required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The team member is occasionally required to stand, walk, reach with hands and arms, repetitive us (or motion) of arms and hands, bend, and stoop, and lift up to 10 pounds. Working conditions are normal for an office environment.

 ADA: Papa John’s will make reasonable accommodation(s) in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.


Strive for Excellence: Knowledgeable about how organizations work; Knows how to get things done both through formal channels and the informal network; Understands the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices, and procedures; Understands the cultures of organizations.

Harnessing Value and Potential: Uses a mentoring style that is honest, solid, and empowering; Drives team performance without compromising the work culture; Provides ongoing coaching and follow up support to help team members achieve their desired performance; When coaching, ensures feedback is both constructive and objective.

Customer Centric: Takes personal responsibility for increasing customer satisfaction; Ensures that a consistent message has been delivered internally and externally regarding the Papa John’s customer brand; promotes an environment where team members and leaders (e.g., corporate office or restaurants) are held responsible for their role in delivering the customer service brand promise

Leadership Courage: Clearly defines the expectations and how they will change for internal and external stakeholders; Manages any resistance to change within teams; Fosters an environment where team members’ and leaders’ egos and sense of entitlement are kept in check; Monitors the team’s successes and failures and shows a willingness to course correct whenever necessary.

Bias for Action: Demonstrates a willingness to jump into action wherever they might be needed; Using good judgment, seizes opportunities to improve systems and processes that impact team members’ performance; Demonstrates the ability to make difficult decisions based on a minimum of planning.

Optimizing Collaboration: Creates a team environment where hard and soft resources are openly shared; Facilitates team discussion and open communication; Clarifies the role and responsibilities of each team member, as well as the leader; Sustains the team’s energy by reinforcing the value of achieving the shared goal.

Credibility and Influence:  Can negotiate skillfully in tough situations with both internal and external groups; Can win concessions without damaging relationships; Can be both direct and forceful as well as diplomatic; Gains trust quickly of other parties to the negotiations.

Must be aligned with Papa John’s Values:







Ashley Inman

Sr. Talent Acquisition Recruiter

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