Director of Field Training

Job Description

Job Summary


Leadership responsibility for the strategic and tactical field training agenda for Denny’s collaborating with the Learning teams and business leaders to build and implement programs, processes, with measurable results related to: training effectiveness, culture change, learning and development, career growth, performance management, and leader & employee development. Reporting directly to the Vice President of Training, this role will have significant impact transforming the organization toward a culture of accountability and coaching. This leader is a highly effective, influential change agent, with a passion for innovation and creativity in designing and implementing solutions that develop talent and increase organizational performance for the Denny’s of today and tomorrow.


The Director of Training is a senior position responsible for setting learning strategies, executing learning programs (augmenting when needed), leading Flagship and Approved Restaurant Training Process, the leading all field module rollouts, and all field-training programs with exceptional quality and consistency.


With nearly 1,700 restaurants (90% franchised/10% company-owned), the Director of Training will build relationships with all levels of operations support, company and franchise operations as well as franchisees, to ensure a “one brand” focus and execution.  Provide guidance and strategic support so that priorities that are best for moving the brand forward are identified and appropriate goals are set among all stakeholders. Strong relationships with all cross-functional partners of support functions so that each stakeholder is positioned as a valued partner in the execution of those goals so that the priorities are achieved to further the brand.


The Director of Field Training will have direct responsibility for the field training team.



Essential Functions (Duties and Responsibilities)

  • Develop and maintain a complete understanding of the competitive marketplace, best practices, and emerging trends for learning and development strategies and activities.
  • Analyze and apply this information in the development and execution of strategies and determine what is needed to transform formal and informal learning into a performance advantage for the organization.
  • Accelerates organizational performance through leadership – linking strategy to development, building transformational change approaches and facilitating complex organizational challenges
  • Identifies and recommends opportunities to improve and align supporting systems; creates and implements an integrated approach to talent and culture management.
  • Creates strategic learning plans by DMA, Area, etc. to improve operational matrix 
  • Influences organizational decision-making with the use of relevant, value-added metrics
  • Design and execute field curriculum with a focus on creating and supporting “Great Restaurants”.
  • Conducts necessary review of existing practices and systems to identify points of leverage for training objectives and to remove/minimize existing barriers to training implementation and impact
  • Creates and aligns training goals with the Company’s strategic and annual operating plans; works closely with Operations Support team to integrate operations and training initiatives within Company and Franchise Operations and in partnership with other departments (i.e. Communications, HR, Marketing, IT)
  • Provides input to the creation of company goals to minimize or eliminate goals that conflict with the strategy and objectives of the Denny’s of tomorrow
  • Determines evidence based and appropriate approaches to ensure greatest positive impact training in critical areas of the company.
  • Demonstrates the value of training to the bottom line by showing return on training investment and direct impact to key performance indicators through continuous measurement 
  • Measures impact of executed training strategy against company dashboard of key performance indicators ensuring successful execution
  • Leads the design and execution of needs analyses to ensure appropriate training addresses operational needs
  • Oversees the development of company- wide field training materials so that the materials and delivery provide long term solutions for the Denny’s of tomorrow
  • Advises and participates on committees or councils at all levels as needed to provide long term brand issue resolution
  • Advances the training initiatives to the priority list for the organization by providing a strong connection of training to key outcomes
  • Demonstrates ownership of field learning programs to ensure field-learning programs address necessary benefits to the business and realigns as necessary
  • Takes ownership of guest satisfaction tracking system and fully utilizes the data to drive improvements and engagement
  • Role models leadership practices that guide employee selection, engagement, and performance such as development and performance coaching, holding self and others accountable for results and actions

Job Requirements


    Education & Experience Requirements

    • Bachelor’s degree in a business or hospitality management discipline, or equivalent combination of education and experience
    • Minimum 10 years leadership experience in the restaurant/hospitality sector, including project management, operations, training and strategic planning; full service experience preferred
    • International Coaching Certification (ACC, PCC, or MCC) preferred
    • Proven experience in culture change initiatives
    • Experience in measuring impact of training programs/initiatives
    • Instructional design and facilitation experience
    • Proven and demonstrated multi-unit experience, including experience with both franchise and company operations
    • Excellent financial and business acumen with a solid history of running profitable business areas and demonstrating accountability for increasing areas of responsibility
    • Strong history of planning and implementing short-term and long-term strategic operations strategy and objectives for a business unit, as well as from an overall strategic company perspective



    Required Knowledge and Skills

    • Exudes confidence and displays an executive presence through demonstrating “grace under fire” when experiencing high stress situations, ambiguity, and changing priorities
    • Ability to act decisively with integrity, demonstrate emotional intelligence, clearly communicate a vision, maintain a professional reputation, and display innovating and forward thinking
    • Excellent interpersonal and professional communication skills with a proven ability to negotiate and influence
    • Demonstrates inclusiveness by placing value on diversity and respect for and openness to others’ preferences, backgrounds and ideas
    • Proven experience leading cross-functional teams to develop new business and operational efficiency solutions
    • Strong Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and internet skills
    • Licensed to operate an automobile without hours of operations restrictions
    • Must meet any state, county or municipal regulation pertaining to health risk concerns about food handling
    • Must be able to work with Denny’s menu products, as well as work around potentially hazardous chemicals (i.e., cleaning products)
    • The ability to drive, stand, sit, bend and walk for extended periods of time
    • Ability to travel frequently (up to 75%), including overnight stays and airline travel when applicable



    Denny's, Inc. is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of age, race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, genetic information, military or veteran's status, criminal background, or any other characteristic protected by Federal, State, or local law. 


    Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should contact Denny's Recruiting at 864-597-8000

Additional Details

Date posted: 02/15/2017

Contact: Alaina Schnipke

Phone: 864-597-8072


Apply Online:

Prefer: email

Company Name: Denny's