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Director, Bakery Commercialization

Needham, Massachusetts
Category Support Center Location ID 1 Location Name Needham Support Center Address Three Charles River Place State/Region Massachusetts Postal Code 02494 Country United States
Director, Bakery Commercialization

Panera is looking for a Director of Bakery Commercialization to join the Bakery Development team. Baking is the foundation of Paneras heritage. We are looking for a well-respected, action-oriented, thought leader in the bakery business, who loves baking and wants to work as part of our Innovation and Culinary teams to help build the best bakery business in the restaurant industry. This person will be collaborating with our Chefs, Operators, Supply Chain, Fresh Dough Facilities (FDF) and Innovation teams to lead our organization forward by launching new products and platforms that will create a sustainable competitive advantage for Panera. If you enjoy product development work and have a background as a bakery product formulator, project leader, and project manager, you may be ideal for this role. We need someone with strong project management skills, who can influence others, and manage small, cross-functional teams. In short, we are looking for someone special, who fits our Panera culture, and of course who loves the art of GSD Getting Stuff Done.


This role will report to the Vice President of Bakery. The key activities of this role will be to collaborate with our team of Innovation Directors to set the bakery-related priorities, commercialize products for a multiyear product development pipeline, and manage small project (cross-functional) teams to deliver end-to-end solutions against this plan.

Job Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities for this role are as follows:

  • Work with Innovation Directors and other members of the Bakery Development team to identify gaps and opportunities within our sweet goods and bread product categories, and provide commercialized solutions
  • Serve as a key collaboration partner with FDF management on commercialization efforts
  • Manage multiple projects in collaboration with the Innovation Directors and small cross-functional teams, to deliver new products that make a material positive impact for our Customers, our Investors, and our Associates
  • Lead and coordinate all aspects of product commercialization from the created idea to deployment, including but not limited to:
    • Scale up from bench work within our FDF system
    • Identifying vendors with Supply Chain
    • Coordinating with Manufacturing Quality Assurance (FSMA, allergens, GMPs, etc.)
    • Small wares assessment and development
    • Financial analysis
    • Nutritional and clean label coordination with Quality Assurance
    • Sensory analysis
    • Training efforts with Bakery Operations and Retail Operations
    • Execution at cafs
  • Report on project progress and provide recommendations to senior leadership, and on-the-ground project adjustments, to ensure success
  • Provide post-launch strategic direction and assessment in order to improve and refine techniques for future projects

Education and Experience

  • Baking or culinary school (with a focused study on baking) graduate preferred or Bachelors degree in Bakery or Food Science or the Restaurant/Hospitality field
  • 10+ years of experience in product development/evolution with a secondary emphasis in project management and organization
  • Bakery CPG experience and knowledge of bakery wholesale production also a plus

Critical Capabilities and Skills

  • Passion for Bakery (and food), and for making a difference in the lives of the 9M people who eat at Panera each week
  • Project management expertise. Ability to coordinate across multiple projects effectively; manage scope and deliverables
  • Superb communication skills, working across all levels of the organization, from training our Bakery Operations partners, to presenting to our Executive Team
  • Strong organizational skills, and highly detail-oriented
  • Small team leadership, especially across multiple functions (including Culinary Development, Bakery Operations, Caf Operations, Supply Chain, Staging and Planning, Category Management, and others)
  • Strong influencing skills, as this role wont have any direct reports, but will be expected to accomplish a lot across Panera
  • Ability to manage in an ever-changing environment
  • A general understanding of financial reports and cost analysis
  • Strategic thinking, creativity, and sound decision-making skills
  • Strong employee relationship skills that can earn trust with management and hourly associates
  • High degree of professional maturity, integrity and wisdom; and manages in a style that is of Panera


This role is based out of our Needham, MA office but you will spend the majority of your time in our Boston Culinary Center in West Roxbury, MA and our Franklin, MA fresh dough facility, when not traveling. Travel could be up to 75% of the time. It is important for this role to not only be in cafs and see the final product in a live environment, but also at our fresh dough facilities and with vendors, collaborating on the development of new products.

Needham Support Center

External Reference Code JR0016684 Company Name 100 Panera, LLC

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