The Wills Group

  • Category Manager - Fresh/Prepared Food & Hot Beverage

    Job Locations US-MD-La Plata
    Job Post Information* : Posted Date 2 months ago(8/13/2019 9:12 AM)
    # of Openings
    Job Family
  • Overview

    At Dash In, we are dedicated to providing an elevated experience to all our guests. Our culture is built on the idea that we are all here to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. We focus on working with intense Integrity, a can-do, creative spirit, and a “team collaboration” centered approach.

    At Dash In, our category managers play an integral role in building our business. The Category Manager adds value to the team by organizing, directing, planning and controlling activities. This drives the team to ensure customer value, excellence in presentation, quality and consistency of product, innovation, productivity and ethical community and organization responsibility.  Generally the time management required for success in this position is up to 30% field time and 70% administrative time.

    This position requires a candidate that is an experienced, professional category manager with the ability to take our Food and Hot Dispensed Beverage categories to a whole new level. This position requires both a thorough understanding of the principles of retail category management as well as experience and expertise in establishing effective and productive processes for standardization of the organization. It also requires an acute understanding of the people side of the business that will ultimately drive successful execution at the site level. The successful candidate will be charismatic yet structured, analytical and data-driven.

    A Dash In Category Manager is expected to be or become an expert in the visual merchandising, pricing, marketing, planning, inventory control, and sales of their assigned categories.  The Category Manager will develop sound strategic and tactical business and promotional plans for their categories while working with vendors and all levels of Dash In management. They will ensure that products, promotions, and strategies developed for Dash In Food Stores represent the “brand” and are consistent with our corporate philosophy. 

    The Category Manager reports directly to the Director of Food & Beverage Programs for evaluation of performance and direction of duties.


    • Negotiations: Lead contracts negotiations which may include development of national contract/rebate agreements, evaluate and introduce contract flexibility in new vendor set ups and contract renewals
    • Budget & Maintenance: Manage category budget and rebate process through vendor management of rebate programs and reconciliation of rebate allocation breakouts and tracking
    • Strategy Development & Analysis: Develop and integrate short and long term strategies and action plans to improve store performance through analyzing and tracking performance metrics: analyze pre/promotional metrics, sales, margins, inventory levels, and purchasing trends to maximize profitability in the category
    • Category Management: Manage category profitability while developing promotions and pricing strategies that support the short term and long term category plans and uphold the brand philosophy.
    • Marketing & Communications: Develop communications at all levels from executive leadership to store level. Understand and communicate business results and recommend corrective actions as needed. Work closely with operations to ensure understanding and execution of tobacco/Snack marketing and merchandising offers at sites
    • Merchandising: Accountable for Dash In fixture format including layout and graphics, merchandising range/space and periodic resets
    • Supplier Management: Manage advanced reporting, auditing and vendor/supplier relationship building. Gather information from suppliers, manufacturers. and outside sources. With understanding of market dynamics, know how to read this information and respond to it accordingly to drive sales and profit. Apply category expertise and supplier relationship management to identify opportunities to create total cost savings above and beyond price reductions.

    Required Qualifications

    • Bachelor’s degree in business, retailing, management, sales, or marketing is required
    • Minimum 5 years category management experience required
    • Previous 2 year Food Service Category Management (Retail or Manufacturer) is a requirement
    • Formal Category Management Training preferred (or willingness to obtain CPCA level or better certification)
    • Familiarity with Power BI, Tableau, Nielsen/IRI/SwiftIQ, and other analytical tools/suppliers are strongly desired
    • At least 1 year Hot Dispensed Category Management (Retail or Manufacturer) is a strongly desired.


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