Sr. Engineering Manager, Research and Development

Requisition ID 2024-16453
Job Function
Position Type
Experienced Professionals
Posting Location : Location


Seeking an individual who is motivated by leading a team of engineers to develop technology and reshape the future of the restaurant industry!


The Production Design (Engineering) Group within Chick-fil-A, Inc. focuses on engineering revolutionary restaurant system solutions that Operators, Team Members, and Customers love for 3,000+ restaurants. The unique needs of Chick-fil-A restaurants has necessitated the need for an internal equipment, systems, and processes research & development (R&D) team to solve future challenges for restaurants before they are encountered. Given the magnitude and complexities of these challenges resulting from creating new technologies or adapting existing technologies to the restaurant industry, it has resulted in the need to begin working of projects that will be needed years in the future.


The Sr. Engineering Manager, Research & Development (Sr. Principal Team Leader, R&D) role, within Production Design is tasked with leading a team of R&D engineers working on future restaurant equipment projects, leading them through the R&D process. The role is to develop project and partnership strategies as well as communicating and coordinating projects within the Chick-fil-A organization.


Our Flexible Future model offers a healthy mix of working in person and virtually, strengthening key elements of the Chick-fil-A culture by fostering collaboration and community.


Leadership and Team Management:

  • Lead, mentor, develop and inspire a team of engineers and researchers to achieve project goals.
  • Foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement within the R&D team.


Strategy & Influence

  • Utilizing a broad organizational lens, identify future challenges faced by the business that may not be apparent to others
  • Identify new capabilities for Chick-fil-A restaurants made possible by technical solutions
  • Select R&D projects based upon the greatest impact to Chick-fil-A's future success
  • Influence the organization toward resourcing the development of solutions to these future challenges and new capabilities.


Project Management:

  • Oversee the planning, execution, and completion of R&D projects
  • Ensure projects are delivered on time, within scope, and meet high-quality standards
  • Oversee the development of business cases around R&D project outputs for use in identifying projects worthy of entering the product development process
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to integrate R&D outputs into product development processes


Technical Expertise:

  • Stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and advancements in the field
  • Provide technical guidance and insights to the team, driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of technology


Resource Allocation:

  • Efficiently allocate resources, including budget, engineering hours, and equipment, to maximize productivity and project success



  • Collaborate with other departments, including Menu & Packaging, Service & Hospitality, Restaurant Design, and Digital Transformation & Technology, as well as with other sub-teams in Production Design to ensure alignment of R&D efforts with overall business objectives
  • Communicate strategy, projects, and outcomes to a large & diverse group of cross functional stakeholders


Risk Management:

  • Identify potential risks and develop mitigation strategies to ensure successful project outcomes


Budget Management:

  • Develop and manage the R&D budget, ensuring cost-effectiveness and optimal resource utilization


Partner Management:

  • Identify and develop new vendors with capabilities to support R&D project efforts
  • Negotiate project agreements including the intellectual property ownership with R&D partners
  • Ensure partners are appropriately resourced to support Chick-fil-A R&D project
  • Approve vendor invoices and ensure the vendor is accountable for project outcomes and dates

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 8 or more years of professional experience
  • Experience leading engineering teams
  • Builds effective relationships with internal Chick-fil-A Staff, Operators, and external partners
  • Awareness of current and future technology trends
  • Creates a professional and collaborative working environment with full colleague participation that promotes teamwork, quality, and exceptional outcomes
  • Exhibits ability to lead a team through prioritizing multiple projects and tasks, adapts to changing needs and tackles new challenges daily

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in an Engineering related discipline
  • Demonstrates the capacity to comprehend the prevailing business priorities of Chick-fil-A and their potential implications on ongoing R&D initiatives. Possesses the skill to formulate R&D strategies aligning with these focal areas
  • Demonstrates the ability to influence, manage and present ideas via clear written and oral communication (strong presentation skills)
  • Self-starter who operates well in a collaborative team environment and adapt effectively to changing business priorities/strategies

Minimum Years of Experience


Travel Requirements


Required Level of Education

Bachelor's Degree

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