Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover, and play. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 22 countries around the world every day. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Marketing Center of Excellence at Aramark is charged with building strong brands and driving profitable growth. Through repeatable business models that leverage insights and innovation, team members within the Marketing COE help build base business, new business, and client retention through strategies, concepts, programs and practices that engage consumers “at the moment of truth” – where we serve over 2 billion meals each year at workplaces, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, sports and entertainment venues and other locations around the country and the world.
The Brand Director, Visual Merchandising position is being created to expand support for the brand teams to enhance the effectiveness of our branded concepts and programs adding expertise in food display, flow, and appearance as well as additional support and input to design/environment/signage. We are committed to a continuous flow of innovative solutions as priority driver for the company. As such, we seek a strategic, creative, and forward looking leader to oversee visual merchandising strategy, development, and implementation for our major brand concepts and programs.
While the position involves a high degree of creativity, the ultimate goals is to increase base business revenue, traffic, check average and ultimately consumer satisfaction, so strategic agility, financial acumen, insights experience and a track record of delivering against KPIs is also essential.
The Brand Concept Director – visual merchandising is a part of all dining brand development and foodservice operations. A focus on visual merchandising including food , Specific responsibilities for this role include:
- Create cohesive Aramark visual merchandising strategy/plan to drive enterprise traffic, purchase, & check average
- Develop process for inclusion of visual merchandising elements in all brand playbooks (MCOE) and operations (GOE)
- Align visual merchandising strategies/plans/price points as appropriate to specific client segments
- Develop and monitor ROI for recommended strategies
- Use insights in conjunction with insights brand, culinary, & design teams to develop visual merchandising strategies that enhance the look and feel of our brands
- Maintain an understanding of latest trends and practices in visual merchandising, retailing, and food presentation, etc and share with organization
- Creative Development
- Work with brand teams to develop scalable food display, layout, flow, and other service strategies for key brands
- Support brand development with the selection of specific smallwares, equipment, and fixtures
- Provide leadership/influence to brand design firm in fixturing, signage, & supply strategies throughout the service area
- Develop Aramark exclusive products that support that vision and identity
- Work with key vendors to modify or design vendor-supplied fixturing to support ARAMARK identity
- Consult around design of overall brand/concept environments and work with the Design team on an ongoing basis to inform designers of requirements needed to implement the presentation and merchandising programs
- Translate culinary/chef created menu offerings to the plate
- Work with menu constructs and equipment to determine food display strategy, utensils, add-ons, colors, etc.
- Work with brand team, culinary, CPP, business units, and suppliers to align on solutions that meet brand standards
- Program Management
- Create a system to capture/share best practices around visual merchandising
- Support individual visual merchandising requests from field marketing and account leadership
- Ensure that brand identities are supported in all aspects of design, presentation, merchandising and communication and updated on an ongoing basis to reflect current market trends.
- Create approach to communicating visual merchandising standards through key channels (brand guides, websites, etc.)
- Presentation/merchandising overlays for new and remodeled projects.
- Work with our suppliers and the design team to maintain updated items
- Consulting services and/or style-outs for key accounts as needed
- Case studies for tracking impact of merchandising on performance, and success stories to share via website and other comm. vehicles
- Visual Merchandising template or checklist of standard items for key concepts for insertion in brand guides
- Visual merchandising compliance tools for the field
- Vehicle to communicate trends throughout the enterprise – through the quarterly Insights Newsletter or other vehicles
- Build out training tools and guides for operational execution
- Conduct training and train-the-trainer sessions
- Identify key regional accounts/leaders that will act as gold standards for training/presentation/visual merchandising
- Track and report on impact to sales
- Establish a merchandising standards checklist to evaluate a unit’s performance as a way to suggest strategies for improvement
- Develop audit schedule and consistent report to ensure standards are being maintained
This position will report directly to the VP Innovation within the Marketing COE.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional experience and skills:
- 7-10 years in Foodservice and Food industries in a visual merchandising capacity
- Multi-unit restaurant and/or upscale grocery experience highly desirable
- Culinary experience a plus
- Bachelor’s degree required
- Strategy and program development experience
- Platform development and/or leadership of foodservice/retail merchandising solutions
- Ability to understand broader company and project/program goals/strategies & prioritize/manage projects accordingly
- Experienced in use of insights to support solution development
- Financial acumen - can understand, develop and deliver ROI for key projects
- Demonstrated experience in creative development and implementation of visual merchandising solutions
- Able to show examples of work in a scaled environment
- Strong project management skills and production orientation.
- Ability to lead initiatives across business units and flex ideas/concepts appropriately depending business needs
- Able to work with and influence a broad range of people with diverse backgrounds and expertise across functional areas
- Persistence/perseverance/patience to deal with ambiguity associated with working in uncharted territory.
- Resourceful - able to juggle multiple tasks.
Communications and Style
- Strong written and presentation skills in range of formats; hands on development of professional quality presentations, project management communications and program support materials for diverse audiences.
- Hands-on leader capable of development and execution as well as working through/leading others.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a dynamic, fast paced environment on multiple projects and scalable solutions.
- Quick study—adaptable/learns on-the-go to support projects/programs across functional areas.
- Self-starter, confident in abilities, self-motivated and able to work independently/effectively in team environment.
It is expected that any successful candidate will also have the following personal attributes:
- Strong value system, integrity and respect always, and work ethic
- Team player/strong collaborator
- Highly motivated/“can do” positive attitude
- Organized and results-oriented
- Able to deal with ambiguity and cope with change
- Demonstrated good judgment