Research & Development chef

Job Locations US-CA-Brisbane
Regular Full-Time


We recruit the best talent and invest in their ongoing development, through training and mentoring. We provide opportunities to work across our national network. dnata catering U.S. is looking for a Research & Development (R&D) Chef  to join our Brisbane, CA  team supporting the SFO airport.


POSITION SUMMARY The Research & Development (R&D) Chef at dnata Catering, an aviation catering company, is responsible for new product development and improving existing products on customers' menus. This role involves conducting R&D activities to enhance quality, processes, and cost efficiency. The R&D Chef will create marketable food product recipes independently and collaborate with various departments including commercial, operations, culinary, and the executive team.


dnata is one of the world’s largest air services providers. Established in 1959, the company ensures the aviation industry operates smoothly and efficiently in 127 airports. Offering ground handling, cargo, travel, and flight catering services in 35 countries across six continents, dnata is a trusted partner for over 300 airline customers around the world. Each day, the company handles over 1,900 flights, moves over 8,500 tons of cargo, books over 16,000 hotel stays, and uplifts over 320,000 meals.


Accepting applications until: 8.10.2024

You Will

  • Manage the menu and costing process for new menus, menu items, and cycles for customers, considering factors such as customer price point, production labor, raw material cost, and service class.
  • Develop production yields and periodically test assumptions against actual kitchen production results.
  • Determine labor man minutes costing for each dish during the recipe development process and validate assumptions against kitchen production results.
  • Maintain an up-to-date recipe database, ensuring accuracy of recipes, yields, and raw material pricing.
  • Convert batch recipes accurately to match each kitchen's production needs.
  • Work closely with the costing department to source the right products for each menu, including tray set items, non-cooked pass-through items, proteins, vegetables, starches, and sauces.
  • Ensure all new recipes and methods comply with HACCP plans and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), collaborating with QA departments and Operations to document new processes if necessary.
  • Collaborate with the costing department to keep raw material costs updated in the costing platform.
  • Provide strategic assistance in developing menu concepts for customers.
  • Develop new product concepts and recipes based on menu trends, consumer insights, and customer expectations, ensuring completion within budget and on time.
  • Maintain records on culinary activities, product cutting results, and necessary documents for new product profiles.
  • Maintain the R&D kitchen in good condition, including equipment maintenance, daily cleaning, and inventory management.
  • Deliver results as needed for assigned projects.
  • Collaborate with the Corporate Director of Culinary on special projects.
  • Valid food handler's certificate or equivalent.



  • Other duties as assigned by management.

This salary range and is influenced by the level of experience. When calculating the base pay, we take into account various factors such as location, qualifications, training, and experience as part of the overall compensation package. $67,000.00  $110,000.00

You Have

EDUCATION: Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts or a combination of an Associate Degree with a minimum of 5 years of culinary experience.


  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel.
  • Preferably, a minimum of 2 years of culinary experience in inflight catering or the hotel industry.
  • ServSafe Manager certification must be obtained within 90 days of employment.
  • Understanding of HACCP and food safety guidelines.
  • Passion for the food and beverage industry.
  • Strong analytical skills and strategic thinking ability.
  • Excellent food product knowledge.
  • Skills in commercializing recipes, procedural writing, menu and meal costing, and product and production yield calculations.
  • CCP (Critical Control Point) analysis proficiency.


Intellectual/Social demands:

While performing the essential functions of this job, the employee is continuously asked to multi-task under time limits.  Position requires constant attention to precise details and accuracy of specified standards including following simple to complex (more than 3 steps) instructions, and concentration which frequently extends beyond 30 minutes at a time. This position also requires constant attendance and punctuality - Is consistently at work and on time. Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan. Meets productivity standards; Completes work in timely manner; Strives to increase productivity; Works quickly. 

Physical demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop, kneel, or crouch. The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 30 pounds. Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Use equipment and materials properly.

Work environment:

The essential functions of this position are performed indoors. The noise level in the work environment can range from minimal to loud.


dnata’s Competencies Required to be Successful in the Job:

There are two aspects to working as effectively as we can: our people and our results. Our eight competencies are designed to help you focus on these aspects:



Does what they say they will. And they balance the needs of our customers' needs with our business's needs.


Always gets the job done. And still put the needs of our business first.


Open to opportunity:

Adapts when plans change. Is open to new ideas. Makes suggestions that will help shape our culture.

Business thinking:

Understand our business. Uses this understanding in their day-to-day work and plans for the future.


Look for solutions that work for themselves, their team, and the whole organization.

Engaging others:

Acts in a way that gets others on board – and when things don’t go to plan, they deal with conflict in the right way.

Provide direction:

Share plans with others. Tracks how each project is progressing. Gives constructive feedback during, and after, each project.

Developing talent:

Self-aware. Always learning. Always developing. And always helping others to develop, too.


Demonstrated Values to be Successful in the Position:

Employees at dnata are expected to live our Values of Safety and Security, performance-driven, Service Excellence, Delighting Customers, Imagination, and respect. To demonstrate these Values, we expect to observe the following from everyone:

  • We put safety and security first in all our actions.
  • We will set challenging goals and meet them.
  • We deliver to a consistently high quality.
  • We take ownership and responsibility of a situation until it is resolved.
  • We are not afraid of failure and learn through our mistakes.
  • We respect each other regardless of background.

Diversity Matters

We believe that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to creating a strong workplace and community. At dnata, we’re proud that our workforce is as diverse as the customers we serve. And we’re committed to nurturing your talent with mentoring, volunteer and professional development opportunities. We welcome everyone. Our employee resource groups are one of the many ways we champion diversity and inclusion at dnata.


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