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Director, Core Research and Development – Plano, TX
Raising Cane's




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The R&D Core Menu Director will be responsible for bringing the Core product development strategy to life through all touch points including but not limited to; menu maintenance, commercialization to support scale, Restaurant support as it relates to recipes and process, enhanced ingredient quality, and regulatory compliance. Will manage all phases of product development projects and provide ingredient, process and related technical knowledge to support innovative solutions. 


To be successful in this role this person should be curious, pragmatic, highly collaborative and comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. An ability to laugh, go with the flow, work hard and have fun is a must.


  • Ability to partner with the VP of Research and Development and the Senior VP of Marketing to drive the overall menu direction for the brand.
  • Extensive knowledge about ingredients food costs, recipe development, cooking techniques and nutritional value of food. Utilize knowledge of scientific research principles, practices and protocols in research projects.
  • Poultry process and formulation capable and tapped into future of the industry.

Be the Voice of the Food; Maintain and champion the high quality of the Raising Cane’s Menu

  • Ensure future of chicken fingers is reflective of today’s high quality. Identify, develop and validate options to support the scale of tenders supply without compromising quality or experience. Includes formulation, manufacturing process and/or BOH optimization.
  • Poultry Expertise and Innovation; Process and formulation capable and tapped into future of the industry.
  • Build a working knowledge of production lines and the processes involved in product manufacturing. Understand the impact of these processes on the finished product with respect to nutritional composition and regulatory compliance.
  • Manage all bench to commercialization objectives in a timely manner, by forming cross functional teams to meet project deadlines and cost expectations.
  • Develop and conduct internal and consumer sensory panels in coordination with the Research Manager.
  • Build supplier partnerships by working in conjunction with Procurement and Total Quality to leverage and deliver quality ingredients.
  • Ingredient commercialization and secondary supplier development and validation.
  • Menu maintenance; organize, track and maintain details of the Core menu. Create, manage and approve specifications.


Enhanced quality and experience of the core menu

  • Enhance the eating experience of core menu items through formulation, manufacturing or BOH process enhancement.
  • Invest in Guest; identify, develop and validate options to improve COGS without compromising quality or experience. Includes formulation, manufacturing process and/or BOH optimization.
  • Restaurant process proficient with foresight into the impact of ingredient or process changes. Partner with Operations team to refine recipes or ingredient specifications to deliver and execute quality product consistently.
  • Recommend, initiate and manage new projects and programs related to improving core products and processes. Continuously learning, exploring, vetting and researching food ideas which relate to the business. 
  • Ensure product, packaging and process enhancements meet or exceed customer expectations.


R&D Leadership and Program Management

  • Support R&D initiatives, processes and people development.
  • Keep up to date on government compliance and regulation and how it impacts the core menu. Have an active role in Menu Labeling nutrition review and compliance.
  • Conduct preparation and presentations for Senior Leadership team and product showings.
  • Lead by example and provide constructive R&D solutions which continuously drive high quality ingredients and recipes.



  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple complex projects and initiatives simultaneously with a results oriented approach. Skilled in time management and organization with excellent attention to detail.
  • Must enjoy working and collaborating with many different people
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills with the ability to make clear, concise and convincing ingredient related recommendations.
  • Basic ability to make appropriate business judgment and recommendations independent of supervisor.
  • Restaurant R&D experience a plus
  • Experience working within or for a franchise system a plus
  • Computer proficiency (Office suites, internet, documentation control, Genesis a plus)
  • Must be familiar with USDA/FDA regulations and standards. 
  • Travel will be up to 30%


Education (or equivalent experience)

  • BS/MS degree in Food Science or Meat Science is required, with 7 – 10 years of work experience commercializing meat products (poultry a plus).


The intellectual and physical demands described below are representative of what must be met by a Crewmember to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable Crewmembers with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Aligns with Cane’s culture
  • Takes initiative
  • Has excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to work under deadlines
  • Ability to think analytically
  • Experience in management of brand marketing in restaurant industry
  • Ability to recognize problems and problem solve
  • Ability to set goals and convert plans into action
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage time
  • Organized and able to manage multiple priorities
  • Flexibility and capability to thrive in an changing environment


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