Nature of Work
An employee in this class performs a variety of duties in the direct creation of menus and menu cycles. These tasks must consistently be performed according to established guidelines. This employee must exercise considerable independent judgment and initiative in planning, developing, and coordinating breakfast, lunch, field trip, summer feeding and other menus and production records. The menu planner must work fluidly with the Food Procurement Specialist and Director to achieve maximum use of commodities and net-of-invoice products. The menu planner must have a high level of organizational skill, dependability and independence in performing and meeting the standard required to perform all work related tasks.
Duties and Responsibilities
The menu planner is responsible for understanding the ingredients used in menu items, special dietary restrictions, and appropriate cost effective measures for producing a quality product within budgetary constraints.
The menu planner must work closely with Director and Food Procurement Specialist to create nutritious and savory meals from products available via the bid process.
The menu planner must be able to read and interpret Federal and State guidelines and prepare recipes and menus within all parameters.
The menu planner must be able to work with other menu planners in the region as well as State personnel to develop good local recipes and menus.
The menu planner must be able to interact with a variety of customers, including students, parents, administrators, vendors and visitors.
The menu planner must coordinate or assist in coordinating Summer Feeding, catering events (SNA), and other special events.
The menu planner must consistently implement cycle menus, nutrient analysis, menu planning guidelines, preparation standards/serving guidelines and food/product development.
The menu planner may be called on to coordinate marketing promotions, assist the Supervisor, interview potential food service employees, attend professional meetings, work on local committees, evaluate school sites, and perform other duties as needed.
Meal planners must assist Child Nutrition site managers regarding compliance with all Federal, State and local regulations.
Appropriate use of department software related to food preparation, production records, food safety, HACCP procedures for food products.
Provide feedback to the director on the effectiveness of the food service operation related to food preparation, food documentation, food service, and inventory.
Provide support for cafeteria managers and assistant managers as needed for quality food service & substitutions.
Serve as person in charge in emergency situations.
Work in cafeteria as needed to support cafeteria staff or for special projects.
Instruct and model basic nutrition education and sanitation with cafeteria staff, students, teachers and community members.
Other assignments related to Child Nutrition as assigned by Director.
Ability to work beyond the 40-hour work week on occasion; on rare occasions this may include some night or weekend work.
Ability to consistently communicate in a professional and helpful manner.
Complete additional assignments or duties assigned by the Child Nutrition Director.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The menu planner must have basic knowledge of the principles of good nutrition, quality food preparation and excellent food service.
The menu planner must be able to quickly and routinely assess price impact, portion controls, food ordering methods & storage standards.
The menu planner must hold a safe food handler certificate and be ready to serve as person in charge in the event of emergency.
The menu planner must know and remain current regarding Federal and State laws and regulations governing child nutrition programs such as USDA donated food usage, free and reduced meals programs, competitive sales, inventory controls and record-keeping procedures.
The menu planner must be an excellent trainer (group & individual) regarding recipes, production records, inventory controls and HACCP related to food preparation & service.
Ability to work daily to assure adherence of food service program to Federal, State and local lows and regulations, including district requirements & guidelines.
Knowledge of nutrition principles, food preparation, recipe development, safety and sanitation.
Ability to read and interpret Federal, State and local standards concerning food production, sanitation, nutrition and procurement.
Skills in the use of commercial food preparation equipment and desire to learn about procurement.
Moderate computer skills, including Microsoft Office Software and a strong desire to develop additional technology skills.
Task oriented and the ability to prioritize various tasks at one time.
Ability to work for positive outcomes in challenging situations.
Ability to work independently with little direction in a timely manner.
Ability to stand for long periods of time and lift at least 30 pounds.
Reliable transportation to and from work with a strong work history of dependability.
Character, personality and social capability to relate effectively with diverse groups and demonstrate the ability to work with a wide variety of community groups, organizations, vendors and educational personnel;
Ability to be flexible with assignments, patient and courteous during challenging situations, and tactful when difficult conversations are required.
Considerable physical activity will be required from time-to-time.
The work environment may involve some exposure to hazards or physical risks, which require following basic safety protocol and precautions.
Work may involve moderate exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures (freezers & ovens), unpleasant odors, dust (warehouse), smoke (kitchen) and/or loud noises. These encounters will require adherence to appropriate safety protocol and precautions.
Must be physically able to operate a variety of automated office machines including computers, calculators as well as commercial kitchen equipment such as ovens, stoves, meat slicers, shredders, can openers, etc. Must be able to exert up to 80 pounds of force occasionally, up to 40 pounds of force frequently and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.
A Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics, Nutrition, Hotel/Restaurant Management, Food Service or other closely related field is preferred; however, candidates with a minimum of a high school education with five years’ experience in school food service management will be considered. Salary based on education and experience.
Reports To: Director of Child Nutrition
FSLA Status: Non-exempt
The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to perform this job.