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QSR Feature
Building an R&D Team
Ten resources to find research-and-development expertise.

The life and soul of your operation depends on the skill of your culinary team in developing new products and entire menus based on trends, food science, and an understanding of finance and manufacturing—all while blending nutrition science and culinary artistry.

That skill set doesn’t cross your path every day. Whether you’re building a research-and-development team from scratch or filling a vacancy, you need to know where to turn to find people with apt culinary credentials.

Here are 10 places to start your search.

The American Culinary Federation

180 Center Place Way

St. Augustine, FL 32095

Phone: (800) 624-9458



The American Culinary Federation (ACF), one of North America’s premier professional chefs' organizations, has more than 230 chapters nationwide and 20,000 members. It offers an online career center as one of several career sites on You can post a job or view résumés. The cost to post a job for 45 days is $35 per posting for members and $150 for nonmembers.

Chefs can set job alerts that will notify them automatically by e-mail when the position they are looking for becomes available.

Another way to find qualified chefs is to attend one of the four annual regional ACF meetings (central, southeast, northeast, and west) where there are networking opportunities. Or attend the annual convention held each July, this year in Las Vegas. If your company is a member, another way to find chefs is to attend local chapter meetings.

International Culinary Schools

Art Institutes International Inc.

210 6th Ave.

Pittsburg, PA 15222

Phone: (888) 624-0300


The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes are part of North America's largest system of culinary programs with more than 30 locations.

Each of the schools has career services advisors who stay connected with job opportunities and can communicate exceptional job leads with alumni directly.

The school’s Web site also offers a career services segment with a section for employers. For assistance in filling an advanced employment position, employers are encouraged to fill out an online form giving contact information and job requirements. The listing, which is free to employers, is then sent to the alumni coordinator and/or the career services advisor of the campus closest to the job opportunity. It will then be posted on the alumni community job board.

The Culinary Institute of America

1946 Campus Drive

Hyde Park, NY 12538

Phone: (845) 452-9600

Contact: Chet Koulik



As a service for its graduates, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) maintains a database of job openings. It receives 300–400 postings a month. Simply e-mail a job description to Chet Koulik, director of career services. The institute also holds career fairs for students to find the right job match.

For jobs that require more experience, like an R&D chef, the CIA can target e-mails to a group of experienced alumni who have asked to be alerted to such openings. That group includes chefs with seven or more years of experience who are not actively seeking employment, but who would be willing to make a move if the right opportunity became available.

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