Senior Innovation Operations Manager – KFC

KFC advertised on Movemeon for a Senior Innovation Operations Manager to re-define the restaurant experience of the future, delivering against global strategic objectives.

Our successful Movemeon candidate previously worked at BlackRock and has recently been promoted to Head of Tech Innovation at KFC.

Gaby client success manager movemeon

This company was supported by Gaby,
Head of Industry at Movemeon.

View the original job description below:

N.B.: KFC operates a strict blind recruitment policy.

KFC’s culture

We believe that our success is driven by the power of our employees working in unison with a shared set of common goals and values. We are very proud that KFC UKI is recognised as a key market not only in terms of profit and innovation but also for the talent we grow and develop for Yum!. 
We invest heavily in our people and help them drive their personal development. As part of this, we give each of our managers in the business the opportunity to go through Heartstyles. Heartstyles is a tool and strategy to measure and manage culture, building people’s self-awareness and helping them to transform their behaviours. This tool can then be used in coaching conversations you have with your team and line manager and to help build effective individual development plans. 

We celebrate success every day and to us recognition is much more than just saying thank you – it is about really celebrating achievements, milestones and behaviours. One of the ways we do this is through our own personal recognition awards. As a company, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously and encourage our employees to ‘give something back’ through company-wide charity efforts. As an equal-opportunity employer, we embrace individuality and diversity. We employ irrespective of background, age, ethnicity, colour, gender, disability, sexual or religious orientation and marital status.

About the role

The role of the Senior Innovation Operations Manager is to redefine and re-engineer the restaurant assets, guest and team member experience of the future for the KFC UKI business and, in doing so, increase same-store sales growth. The post holder will work to ensure that the restaurant experience of the future is ever easier, more relevant and more distinctive – both for guests and team members. This challenge will be a mix of project management, operational acumen, innovation mindset and financial/negotiation strategy. As well as working with UK-based colleagues in the Operations, Technology and Marketing teams to land the KFC UKI strategic objectives, as KFC UKI is leading the Western European restaurant operating agenda, the role holder will also be expected to deliver against these broader strategic objectives by making the restaurant of the future simpler and digitally advanced. S/he will therefore be expected to hit the ground running, and partner effectively with the KFC Global team in Dallas and externally with franchisees.

Finally, it is expected that the successful applicant will see themselves as COO of the future, either within or outside the UK. Reporting to Charles Saksik, Director of Operations Innovation KFC UKI, the role holder will be the right-hand key person to manage restaurant innovation projects and push them to fruition; they will eventually evolve into leading several people in their current role. In this quick, informal, fun, unbureaucratic and truly digital organisation, surrounded by an amazing calibre of people you will have the opportunity to make an extraordinary impact quickly.

Key Responsibilities

As Senior Innovation Operations Manager, you will:

  • Project-manage the restaurant innovation agenda – innovation and transformational change to shape the “Kitchen of the future” for the brand across all KFC UKI’s 950+ restaurants – both in the Operations Innovation team (5 persons) and cross-functionally
  • Be a major thought leader on value creation through innovation (tech, digital, robotics) in restaurant and proactively bring forward proposals
  • Lay the foundations for the growth of the brand over the next 10+ years by looking at enhancing (or implementing new) sales channels (e.g. Mobile Ordering, Table Service, etc.)
  • Be relentless on prioritisation and governance – you will be the guardian of projects to be delivered in the next three years, and you will need to see them through from trial to finalisation, whilst ensuring that efficacy is maximised and overlap minimised between projects
  • Review and drive efficiency, simplification and cost reduction across KFC UKI
  • Collaborate with and communicate clearly to Franchisees, Operations and other teams in the UK and around the world

What we’d love from you


To succeed as Senior Innovation Operations Manager, KFC UKI, you will see yourself as an innovation-first leader with a strategic, practical and intellectual understanding of the UK consumer space. You will have previous deep project management experience, financial analysis know-how and be excited by an opportunity to create transformational change. Your coachability index will be through the roof, meaning that you will be able to quickly adapt, learn, and evolve. With a de facto “chief of staff” dimension, you will also be able to quickly take the pulse of a wide variety of projects and vulgarise for the leadership team the essence of the decision-making that needs to take place.

About you

In terms of education and experience, you will have top-tier management consultancy/investment bank experience and/or would have worked in a chief of staff / senior project manager capacity at a fast-growing, large company. You will have strong conceptual thinking skills and be unafraid to challenge the status quo. The successful candidate will clearly display the potential to step into a COO in 4-5 years’ time. Owing to Yum!’s very special culture and lean structure, it is important that you are a self-starter, flexible, humble and action-oriented.

As well as being a great communicator, super smart and operating at a level akin to that of a future COO, you will have/be the following:

  • A balance of designing analytical strategy alongside executional excellence through effective change leadership
  • Advanced Powerpoint skills, coupled with several project management tools know-how
  • Strong gravitas and presentation skills
  • A great coach cross-functionally, and eventually to a team
  • A strong commercial mindset, able to bring people along the journey and handle challenges from stakeholders and the skills needed to manage multi-million-pound projects and contracts
  • An authentic collaborator with key stakeholders – both within and outside of the organisation
  • A rock-solid ambition to one day be a COO or Director of Operations


In addition to demonstrating a track record of high performance as well as the stretch and desire to be a COO in the future, you will possess the following attributes:
1) Results obsession
You are dead-set on delivering projects and can be hands-on, but also “high picture” – whatever is required to get the job done. You have a passion for continuous improvement and the ability to review and identify issues and opportunities in business processes and systems
2) Strategy and Innovation “Smarts”
You have superior theoretical thinking skills and the ability to create and articulate a vision of the future for a function. You are hardworking and passionate about thinking outside the box, to come up with exhaustive solutions that can radically step-change entire areas of the business.
3) Leadership skills
You are a natural-born leader of people who displays tangible humility and leverages their skills and intelligence to take others on their journey, rather than authority. You believe in achieving in order to build credibility and you are comfortable acting in a “second-in-command” capacity to the Director of Operations Innovation KFC UKI before managing your own sub-team within Operations Innovation KFC UKI.

What we can offer you

Reward, progression and lots of recognition

A career with KFC offers much more than just fantastic earning potential. We reward achievement with amazing incentives and benefits. (See candidate handbook) KFC is also a very sociable company and we strive to incorporate our company value of fun whenever we can. Our teams regularly enjoy nights out with their colleagues- including payday drinks, weekly netball and football matches and each year we organise a big Christmas party to celebrate the successes of the year.

Salary will be based on experience with a base of up to around £85K plus car allowance, benefits and discretionary bonus.

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