Palermo's Pizza

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Director of Research and Development

Director of Research and Development

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Responsible for managing the process and the development of pizza products based upon customer requests and company initiatives. Development includes new products not currently manufactured, products matching or exceeding target product and products similar to those the company is currently producing. This position is also responsible for managing the R&D team.


Primary Objectives of the Position:

  • 15% Strategic management of the company.
  • 50% Leadership and Development of the Innovation Department.
  • 35% Day to day management.
  • Development of a superior workforce with innovative ideas.
  • Development of an employee-oriented company culture that emphasizes quality, continuous improvement, and high performance.
  • Personal ongoing development.
  • Winning with team.
  • Working with team to create relevant products in today’s marketplace.

Essentials of the Positions:

Project Management

  • Receives project request, clarify and confirm objective, and develop time-line with milestones and dates of completion.
  • Interact with sales managers to understand the nature of the request, communicate progress, clarify issues and resolve problems.
  • Clearly communicate development plan to the department head.
  • Communicate milestones progress, issues and concerns to the President.
  • Interact with customers, managing expectations and communicating progress, resolve any issues.
  • Maintain product management spreadsheet as the basis for communication on project status; update as needed. Information to be available to President, Vice President, QA, Customer Service and Plant Managers. Review and update daily with R&D staff members.
  • Manage requests for samples, receive log requests, clarify and confirm customer’s specifications, manage process to due date and specifications, prepare samples, deliver samples to QA for shipping.

 Product Development

  • Source and evaluate component ingredients; meet with vendors to discuss available components; obtain product ingredient statements from suppliers.
  • Utilize expertise and collective knowledge; create recipes that have accepted appeal to targeted consumer.
  • Produce prototype products, interacting with QA, manufacturing, sales, and executive staff.
  • Upon finalization of product testing, provide to QA for NLEA information all component weights, including net weights and ingredients.
  • Approve front and back panel labels for accuracy, based on information provided to QA during development.
  • Provide all specs on product package and master carton size. Information will come from team.
  • Be present at new product productions.
  • Working with team to create relevant products in an ever changing retail environment.
  • Participate in weekly R&D meetings.
  • Attend industry trade shows as requested by management.
  • Maintain and succeed at having a strong culture of accountability and trust.



  • Culinary background including knowledge of dough, sauces, meat, and cheese.
  • Understanding chemical makeup of component ingredients.
  • Experience in formulating recipes.
  • Knowledge of Pizza processing line.
  • Understanding NLEA requirements.
  • Stress and time management skills.
  • Technical ability to provide support to the organization in the areas of food technology, product design, food manufacturing, and food safety.
  • Effective oral and written communication.
  • PC software skills.
  • Excellent organizational and follow-up skills.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field.
  • 7-10 years’ experience in research and development.
  • 5+ years managing a team.

Travel Requirements:

  • As needed for meetings, conferences, seminars, vendor visits, etc.

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