Substitute Kitchen Manager


Our mission is to help families break out of the cycle of poverty. For 76 years, Mainspring Schools has led Austin’s effort to provide quality early childhood education, nutrition and support services to underserved families in the community.

We are a NAEYC-accredited, nonprofit preschool that partners with United Way, AISD, Workforce Solutions, Early Head Start and numerous foundations to make sure that our kids are prepared for kindergarten socially, emotionally and educationally and that their families are in the best position for future success. 

We are looking for an occasional Substitute Kitchen Manager. Our kitchen is led by a full-time Kitchen Manager, but on days when that person is out, we need someone who can step in keep the program going from the morning through mid-afternoon. We have growing, hungry kids! 

The Kitchen Manager is in charge of providing breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack daily for approximately 100 children and staff. These meals must meet the USDA guidelines for nutrition. We promote a fun, collaborative environment for the sole purpose of helping our children succeed. 

We would contact you when our Kitchen Manager is out to see if you would be able to prepare food for our little kids. Ideally, we would know weeks in advance when our Kitchen Manager will be away, giving us time to plan the interim stint together. But there will be times when we find out the day before or even in the morning that our Kitchen Manager will be out. In those cases, we will be subject to your short-notice availability. 

Minimum qualifications for this position are:

  • Food Manager Certification
  • Experience in commercial food planning and preparation
  • Knowledge of nutrition
  • Enjoyment of preschool children
  • Access to a car and possession of a valid Texas driver’s license 
  • Ability to read and write English
  • Positive attitude

Basic schedule:

  • Arrive at 6:30 a.m. 
  • Breakfast 8:00-8:30 a.m. 
  • First lunch wave: 10:45-11:25 a.m., second lunch wave: 11:45-12:25 a.m.
  • Depart for the day between 2-3 p.m. 
  • Prepared snack served by teachers: 3-3:30 p.m.

Daily tasks:

  • Prepare breakfast
  • Prepare lunch
  • Prepare afternoon snack
  • Complete USDA Meal Production Record for breakfast/lunch/snack
  • Record refrigerator and freezer temperatures
  • Wipe down and clean kitchen end of day 

As needed/ongoing:

  • Plan and prep menu for weekly Parent Support meeting (coordinate with Family Services Director)
  • Prepare HEB shopping list (for items not available through Hardies/Johnson’s Backyard)
  • Grocery shop at HEB and Sam’s Club Monthly
  • Place orders with Johnson’s Backyard and Hardie’s
  • Upon teacher request, collaborate to plan classroom cooking projects

What we offer:

  • Competitive compensation and benefits
  • The opportunity to make a real difference with underserved kids
  • A diverse population of families and staff
  • A dynamic and fun place to work (casual dress code, freedom to teach your passions, etc.)
  • Annual paid training and staff development (usually on site)
  • A supportive administrative staff 


To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to