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Associate Product Development Manager

Ann Arbor, Michigan, Domino's Pizza LLC

a large building with glass walls and a red and white sign

About Us

Domino’s Pizza, which began in 1960 as a single store location in Ypsilanti, MI, has had a lot to celebrate lately: we’re a reshaped, reenergized brand of honesty, transparency and accountability – not to mention, great food! In the rise to becoming a true technology leader, the brand is now consistently one of the top five companies in online transactions and 65% of our sales in the U.S. are taken through digital channels. The brand continues to ‘deliver the dream’ to local business owners, 90% of which started as delivery drivers and pizza makers in our stores. That’s just the tip of the iceberg…or as we might say, one “slice” of the pie! If this sounds like a brand you’d like to be a part of, consider joining our team!

Job Description

Overview:  This is a hands-on research & development role working in an array of environments including but not limited to the DPZ WRC office, Test Kitchen and Sensory Lab, third party research facilities, DPZ stores, and external photography and videography studios. Responsible for leading and executing product related logistics for off-site CLTs, photo shoots, and Test Kitchen working needs.  This role requires a mastery of customer products and processes.  Support all aspects of product development as detailed below (with a potential to lead).  Job duties outlined here are not intended to be all inclusive and could include other responsibilities to fulfill job requirements.


(40%)  Support the Product Development team and execute product testing for consumer appeal for new and/or existing menu items. 

  • Act as a DPZ menu item, product, and operational expert.  Prep and make samples as needed for product evaluations/project meetings to help drive projects forward.  Work on multiple projects concurrently.  Certain individual tasks may be delegated to lead while others are support.
  • Independently lead and execute product making for in house sensory panels, external focus groups, and CLT testing. 
  • Serve as the site-specific lead for consumer testing.  Make product to standard, according to set schedule, identify, correct and/or communicate issues that may impact the integrity of the test.  Coach cross functional team members on CLT protocol and requirements. Verify accuracy.
  • Order, pack, and ship supplies according to timelines and project needs.
  • Coordinate with SCC, research facility and/or pizza store to make sure food order, equipment and resources needed for testing arrive on time and are in working condition.  Proactively prepare for alternative solutions.  Follow necessary protocol to hire and pay store team members to support product testing as needed.
  • Document actual product performance during the consumer test; sensory attributes, physical product requirements, oven settings, and food safety temperatures.
  • Maintain and update actionable SOPs for each city.
  • Participate in all aspects of product development and cross functional product work (innovation & renovation) from ideation through commercialization, including development, operational testing, supplier matching, hold and release, training, etc.
  • Participate in ideation sessions, food tours, trend tours with a productive and creative mindset.  Manage external supplier working sessions (food & equipment needs, help with DPZ ops, shipping supplies, etc.).  Anticipate needs, set up, make products and clean up as needed.
  • Responsible for unpacking & labeling prototype samples, updating tracking log and communicating to project lead.  Make samples & prototype builds for the project teams during development.
  • Independently plan and execute product shelf life and operational evaluations, equipment testing, etc. per required timelines. Use consumer, product, operational, and business knowledge to
  • Collect and analyze data necessary for product formulation & specification decisions (weights, food safety temperatures, texture analysis, viscosity, etc.).  Write reports, communicate findings, and make recommendations to project leads and other key stakeholders as applicable.
  • Help develop specifications, procedures and standards for products.  Write specifications in Intelex as assigned. 
  • Be a product expert and make “Great” products for team and project evaluations, executive and investor showings, franchise advisory councils, etc.  Make products and clean up as needed.
  • Obtain competitive products, evaluate portions and write reports.
  • Renovation projects potential lead - Recommend and manage improvements to current menu offerings & processes to improve product quality, consumer acceptance, and adaptation of new menu items.
  • Develop product build recipes, procedures, and food cost calculations for developed products.
  • Partner with cross functional teams (S&I, Procurement, QA, Training, Operations, external research suppliers, etc.) regarding product and packaging needs.
  • Clearly communicate with suppliers through development for sample requests and follow-up with actionable feedback

(30%)  Oversight, coordination, and execution of product and test kitchen demands

  • Serve as point person to coordinate photo shoots, live action shoots and any other product needs for advertising.  Communicate product standards to the advertising team, help with dough production/proofing schedules and placing SCC orders for photo shoots in the test kitchen, travel to offsite locations to make product for shoots, participate in production calls, work with food stylists on set, etc.
  • Support Advertising and Social teams during production and photography shoots by coordinating product needs and working with food stylists to make menu items ahead of new product launches. 
  • Partner with cross functional teams to establish food styling and product imagery guidelines.
  • Maintain a log of tips and tricks, coach and onboard new team members
  • Lead all product needs for the quarterly BOD lunches.  Plan the menu, ensure approval, order the supplies, proofread the printed menu, assemble and lead the pizza making team as needed, set and communicate the bake schedule, etc.
  • Manage all aspects of the cross functional working Test Kitchen.  Work within an approved budget of up to $200,000. 
  • Maintain all test kitchen food, smallwares, aprons/chef coats, job aids and misc. supplies necessary to make product prototypes and to support all product showings.  Place orders as needed per timeline requirements.
  • Ensure all test kitchen equipment is calibrated, maintained, labeled and ready to use at all times. 
  • Place SCC orders, verify receipt, track invoices, communicate invoice billing requirements, store products accordingly, rotate code dates (FIFO), manage shelf life.  100% of general use food must be within code date and fully stocked at all times.
  • Responsible for daily set up and clean-up of test kitchen.  Set up makeline, gather dirty dishes for housekeeping, scrape unused dough, keep the storage areas organized, load and unload the dishwasher, etc. 
  • Schedule test kitchen time for all other departments needing to use the test kitchen space.  Communicate to all parties involved and find solutions to share the space accordingly.  Make special orders for other users as needed.  Maintain TK calendar and communicate all kitchen events to cross functional teams.
  • Communicate needs to facilities and housekeeping.  Ensure that housekeeping is adhering to contract requirements.
  • Stock Coke cooler, place order as needed, manage shelf life, etc.
  • Lead kitchen cleaning & storage requirements, food donations, etc.  Assemble and lead teams of team members to accomplish activities in the test kitchen as needed.
  • Unpack samples, coordinate supplier events (prep and clean up),
  • Additional
  • Act as the point person for scheduling the R&D conference room and approving test kitchen access. 
  • Train and educate cross functional team members on product making, TK protocols, etc.

(10%)  Operations Support

  • Provide consumer and product attribute expertise for cross functional projects impacting food quality and/or food safety (new ovens, food preparation equipment, smallwares) and ensure product quality metrics can be attained.
  • Coach team members on critical product requirements
  • Update and align with A&I on consumer validation requirements

(10%)  Competitive Product Lead

  • Serve as the subject matter expert of the competitive product landscape for the Product Development team
  • Create and maintain a useable database with product portions, pictures, operational knowledge.
  • Derive insights from data and observations over time
  • Partner with Field Marketing, Advertising, Activation, Project leads, A&I etc. to expand intel within the database
  • Write reports and present to various levels

(10%)  Development in support of individual and organizational goals and strategies

  • Special projects as assigned (such as finished product specifications, work with CCC on updating PQ codes, product Fun Facts)
  • Linked In Learning, engagement and other professional development initiatives
  • Coaching PPS annually, or involvement in other operational events as part of development
  • Conduct research on various topics as assigned (such as operational equipment and consumer trends)




This individual should have a passion for exceeding customer expectations, for food quality, and for the DPZ brand.  This individual requires strong critical thinking, problem solving, and consulting skills.  He/She/They should have a high-level of initiative, self-direction and a solution-oriented mindset.


  • Bachelor’s degree is preferred
  • 3+ years food industry experience in Product Development, Quality Assurance, national QSR management, product training, or similar.
  • Knowledge of food production and QSR restaurant operations, food safety standards (HAACP, Serve Safe, etc.), and good manufacturing practices (GMPs). 
  • Experience with good laboratory practices, good documentation practices, and budget management. 
    • Experience working with stage gate processes, high-level project management, and marketing is a plus.
    • Knowledge of laboratory equipment such as Bostwick, colorimeter, texture analyzer, and sieve shaker is a plus
  • Basic computer skills: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, etc. 
    • Experience using SIMS Sensory Evaluation software and statistical add-ins such as SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office (or similar) is a plus.


  • Self-development:  Self-starter with a continuous improvement mindset and the ability and desire to lead new initiatives.
  • Business insight:  Ability to derive accurate, logical, and actionable conclusions and recommendations through understanding of data and business needs. 
  • Result oriented:  Must consistently produce a high caliber of work and exhibit an exceptional level of detail and accuracy.  Identify root cause of a problem and recommend corrective action
  • Manage complexity:  Must manage and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining accuracy and meeting aggressive timelines.  Requires adaptability and consistency of performance when priorities and workloads shift.
  • Accountability:  Demonstrate a personal drive and take ownership for actions, behaviors and contributions.  Requires independent analytical & creative effort regarding proper procedures, planning of work, time management, troubleshooting & follow-up.
  • Collaborates:  Ability to lead and participate in cross functional teams.  Gain trust, work cooperatively, manage through influence. 
  • This role is not responsible for a formal direct report; however, this position does require the management (planning, communication, and oversight) of cross functional teams of ~20 people for specific events 
  • Communication:  Delivers written and oral messages in a clear, compelling, and concise manner.  Demonstrates the ability to adjust communications depending on the audience and objective.  Clearly communicate needs and expectations.  Actively listens, checks for understanding, incorporates feedback. 

Dietary & Travel Requirements

  • Must be able to taste and evaluate all menu items
  • Travel required up to 75% monthly (sporadic) including some weekend travel (rare)


  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced kitchen environment.  A combination of the following physical activities can occur for up to 12 hours per day, typical of QSR back of house environments. 
  • Repetition of these tasks can occur daily and/or over a 3 week time frame (usually with weekend breaks).  One example is a product test that required ~2000 items to be made in 5 days (3 days the first week and 2 days the following week).


  • Height of work surfaces is between 36" and 48".
  • Surfaces include ceramic tile "bricks" (as typical in some food operations), linoleum, concrete, etc.


  • Forward bending at the waist is necessary at the pizza assembly stations and while serving during a sensory test.
  • Toe room is present, but workers may be unable to flex their knees while standing at some stations.
  • Shaping & scraping pizza dough requires frequent and forceful use of forearms, wrists, and hands.
  • Washing dishes in a 3 compartment sink.
  • Adding/removing trash bags from large cans
  • Duration - repeated continuously during the day. 


  • Reaching is performed continuously; up, down, forward, side to side
  • Workers reach above 72" occasionally to turn on/off oven controls and lift and lower objects to and from shelves.
  • Workers reaching down to perform such tasks as scooping cornmeal from a plastic barrel or washing dishes.
  • Workers reach forward when obtaining topping ingredients, cleaning work surfaces, or stocking shelves
  • Adding/removing trash bags from large cans
  • Moving product from the oven belt to the cut table


  • Product deliveries from the SCC are received 2-3 times per week, and cases must be rotated (FIFO) in the walk in cooler, freezer, and dry storage areas.
  • Cases may be lifted from floor and stacked onto shelves up to 72" high.
  • UPS/Fed Ex shipments may occur daily.  Large packages ~ 3’ x 3’ are moved and/or unpacked for the contents to be put away. 
  • Deliveries & packages may include cases of ingredients and supplies weighing up to 50 pounds (on a rare occasion there could be heavier packages)
  • Adding/removing trash bags from large cans


  • Surfaces include ceramic tile "bricks" (as typical in some food operations), linoleum, concrete, etc.
  • Corn meal and food debris may be present on the floor.


  • Pizza making supplies are carried back and forth between the workstation and storage shelves.
  • Trays of pizza dough are carried over short distances and weigh approximately 12 pounds per tray.
  • Cases of product and UPS/Fed Ex shipments are carried to storage shelves in the walk in cooler, freezer or dry storage.
  • From time to time, pizza supplies need to be carried up stairs, typically limited to 2 flights of stairs.


  • To move dough trays either on a dolly and/or directly on a hard surface floor.  A stack of trays on a dolly can be up to 7’ tall.
  • Trays may also be pulled.
  • Hot cabinets are pushed from the test kitchen to conference rooms
  • Stop Loading carts are pushed and pulled in and out of the walk in cooler and to organize empty carts going back to the SCC


  • Typical office environment/computer use up to 8 hours per day


  • Performed occasionally to stock shelves and to clean low areas.

Hand Tasks

  • Motor coordination between eyes and hands/fingers to rapidly and accurately make precise movements with speed.
  • Eye-hand coordination is essential. Use of hands is continuous during the day.
  • Frequently activities require use of one or both hands.
  • Workers must manipulate a pizza peel when removing pizza from the oven, and when using various types of pizza cutters (rocker cutter and rolling wheel).
  • Frequent and/or forceful pinching is required in the assembly of cardboard pizza boxes.
  • Team Members must be able to grasp ingredient bins, pizza cutters, pizza peel, pan grippers, squeeze bottles, pizza boxes, etc.




Additional Information

This role is onsite in Ann Arbor, MI and will require full relocation for non-local candidates 

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines


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