Culinary Research and Development Director


Location: Orange City, Iowa

Reports to: Chief Marketing Officer


  • Directs and drives all new product development for new menu items and menu item ingredients based on consumer research results, Marketing Department initiatives, Operation’s needs, Purchasing Department opportunities, and culinary trends.
  • Teams with multiple departments to achieve these goals while working in on-site test kitchen.

Key Performance Elements/Essential Job Functions:

  • Understand our concept, research, test and present ideas to aid in the growth of our company.
  • Partner with the Advertising and Marketing Department to create and develop new ideas for products and promotions.
  • Research and develop new menu items, including but not limited to pizza flavors, appetizers and desserts, including presentation of research findings.
  • Research and develop seasonal buffet and salad bar items, including presentation of research findings.
  • Research and develop menu items fit for guests with allergens.
  • Research and develop menu items fit for guest looking for healthier dining options.
  • Follow through with testing of new items in selected restaurants prior to chain-wide roll out of product.
  • Assist in updating and maintaining nutritional information for products to be included on and other print publications as indicated.
  • Continue to improve the presentation and appearance of current product offerings.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with current vendors.
  • Execute training of new products with Franchise Business Consultants, Trainers and New Restaurant Openers.
  • Maintain responsibility for daily operation of the test kitchen, including cleanliness, safety, and scheduling of test kitchen activities and events.

Success Factors:

  • Candidate should be creative and innovative.
  • A team player/leader with the ability to function effectively in cross-departmental and internal/external teams and task forces.
  • Well organized, self-managing, with strong multi-tasking and time management skills.
  • Detailed knowledge of food technology, flavoring and food manufacturing processes.
  • Product innovation through a balance of strong culinary creativity and quantitative/analytical skills that produce results meeting consumer needs, company financial standards, and operational soundness.
  • Expertise in food manufacturing, processes and packaging.
  • Knowledge of food purchasing, distribution and logistics.
  • Strong presentation skills with the ability to communicate and sell new concepts and research findings.
  • Solid understanding of Pizza Ranch’s Vision and Mission.
  • Candidate should be a food focused individual dedicated to producing the finest possible combination of ingredients to achieve palate pleasing results.
  • Candidate is also a researcher who uses scientific methods and knowledge to insure their creativity can be enjoyed far beyond the confines of their test kitchen.


  • Preference to food related Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Seven or more years experience in related field or combination of education and experience in field.
  • Requires willingness to travel.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Restaurant or food industry experience preferred.

Who We Are

Pizza Ranch, a fast casual restaurant chain based in Orange City, Iowa, has grown from a single location in 1981 to over 200 locations in 14 states. Consistent growth has been a Pizza Ranch staple, as the brand has become a beacon of community involvement and exceptional food. The Pizza Ranch buffet features legendary pizzas, Crispy Ranch Chicken®, salads and desserts, along with carryout and delivery options. Our company is fueled by a powerful Vision "to glorify God by positively impacting the world" and a Mission "to give every guest a legendary experience." If this sounds like an environment where you would like to work, we are always looking for enthusiastic, guest-oriented people who pursue excellence in their work and love to be of service to others.