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Home Chef Production Lead - 1st Shift in Bedford Park, Illinois

A Production Lead is responsible for guiding a line or table of production associates during portioning, meal bagging/kitting, and shipping. He/She will lead, direct, guide and train assigned production employees.

A Production Lead is scheduled to begin their shift prior to the start of production and is responsible for obtaining his or her production plan and targets for the day from the supervisor and setting up the portioning tables, meal bagging tables, and/or shipping line

  • Production Targets:

  • Collaborates with the Supervisor to get the production plans and targets for the day

  • Follows production schedules to ensure order completion during allotted timeframes

  • Effectively communicates the targets and production expectations to the production associates as well as their performance against the target

  • Ensures associates are following HC policies/procedures and escalates any concerns to the Production Supervisor

  • Coordination with Warehouse:

  • Prioritizes and plans for potential product shortages during production and shipping and effectively communicates exact product and quantity needs to the warehouse runners to avoid any unnecessary downtime while waiting on replenishment.

  • Conducts checks on ingredients for quality, accuracy, and shelf life before starting the line and while the line is running.

  • SOPs:

  • Has a working knowledge of all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for portioning, meal bagging/kitting, and shipping

  • Sets up portioning tables, meal bagging tables, and shipping lines according to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Gives consideration to the production targets and the established production plan when setting up portioning tables and based on number of production associates needed to run a line

  • Shares recommendations for improvements to the SOPs with supervisor

  • Ensures the table/pods has the labels, packaging, and product needed to get started at the beginning of the shift and start of new activity

  • Communicates the production targets and expected rates per hour to the production associates

  • Managing waste:

  • Ensures line does not overproduce portions or meal bags and therefore cause food waste and yield issues (i.e. only producing what is required)

  • Oversees associates to ensure they are not creating unnecessary waste of food or packaging (i.e. bags, bottles, jars) while portioning and meal bagging and escalates concerns with production quality to FSQA and a supervisor.

Portioning and Meal Bagging/Kitting

The Production Lead is responsible for overseeing all portioning and meal bagging/kitting for his/her assigned table/pod. This includes:

  • Utilizing Production Sheets:

  • Identifies and completes all sections listed on the production sheet

  • Works with FSQA to verify all ingredients on the meal bagging/kitting line and complete the meal bag sign off on the production sheet prior to starting the line

  • Works with FSQA to ensure meal bag checks are conducted every hour to minimize errors

  • Packaging and Labels:

  • Retrieves more labels from the label office when needed

  • Conducts hourly checks to ensure packaging and labels are correct for the ingredients being portioned or meal bagged

  • Communicates shortages of labeled packaging to supervisor

  • Portion and Meal Bag Quality:

  • Conducts an hourly check of the portions and meal bags to reduce the potential for errors

  • SOPs and Targets:

  • Ensures the SOPs for portioning and meal bagging are being followed throughout the shift

  • Monitors the pace of the portioning and meal bagging line and ensures the team is on track to meet the target. If targets are not being met, the lead makes appropriate adjustments to the line.


A Production Lead is responsible for assisting the Production Supervisor when running a shipping line. A Production Lead should have a working knowledge of all shipping lines (similar, hybrid, unique, and pick and pack)

  • Standard Tools and Forms:

  • Understands the Boxing Call out Sheet and how to use it to set up and verify the line

  • Knows and follows the SOP for transitioning between similar runs (i.e. similar sign off for CHI, use of red trays to cover all meals not included in run for CA)

  • Coordination across departments:

  • Works with warehouse to ensure the line has all required product and does not experience downtime as a result of product shortages

  • SOPs and Production Targets:

  • Makes sure the SOPs for box packing, shipping, and/or Pick & Pack is being followed throughout the entire shift

  • Manages the pace of the shipping line and makes adjustments as necessary.

Output Tracking and Inventory Management

The Production Lead is responsible for delivering counts to the Supervisor and following Home Chef’s inventory management procedures. Specifically, a Production Lead is responsible for:

  • Counting output:

  • Collects counts every hour (CHI) or two hours (CA) to deliver to Supervisor

  • Delivers numbers of meal bags and WIP produced at the end of each workday

  • Inventory management procedures

  • Makes sure that the red, grey and green crates all have clear and legible labels

  • Ensures all old labels have been removed from red trays

  • Ensures all completed portion and meal bag towers are tagged according to SOP (i.e. plastic wrap w/ meal name, count, and date for CHI and masking tape for CA)

  • Ensures the meal bag towers are moved to the proper storage location and ordered by date. The older meals should be in the front and the newer meals should be in the back. FIFO (First In First Out) processes should be followed.

Promoting and Upholding Employee Safety and Food Safety Procedures:

A Production Lead is responsible for enforcing and executing Home Chef Food Safety Policies on the production floor. Specifically, Production Leads are responsible for:

  • GMP Enforcement and Education:

  • Ensures FSQA is conducting a GMP check on all his or her associates at the start of the shift and after lunch

  • Calls out and corrects GMP violations when they occur

  • Understands the complete scope of GMPs. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Changing gloves after touching floor mats, leaving the production area, or before portioning a new item

  • Washing hands at the designated handwashing station

  • Changing hairnet when returning from the restroom

  • Employee Safety:

  • Ensure associates are utilizing proper Lifting Techniques when moving and picking up items.

  • Attends all safety trainings to maintain safety compliance

  • Escalates any employee safety risks to the Safety Supervisor

  • Ensures team is accounted for (roll call) and at the designated spot in the event of an evacuation

  • Pre and Post-Operative Sanitation

  • Ensures work area (portioning table or meal bagging line) is clean (i.e. tables have been sanitized and floors are free of spills and debris)

  • Ensures plant cleanliness, 5S compliance and GMP practices at all times

  • Ensures coolers have been cleaned and swept and are ready for the next shift

Supervising Production Associates

A Production Lead is responsible for supervising production associates working on his or her table/line. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Production Pace:

  • Makes sure team is hitting production targets for portioning, meal bagging, shipping and any other assigned activities

  • Sets example of expected work pace for the entire line

  • Line Integrity:

  • Identifies and escalates any disruptive behavior (e.g. excessive talking or slow work pace) on the line to a Supervisor and moves associates as needed to improve the line’s output

  • Conflict Resolution:

  • Works to quickly and calmly resolve conflicts between associates on the line

  • Escalates issues between production associates to production supervisor / manager when needed

General Responsibilities:

  • Follows the facility GMPs and helps enforce them throughout the facility

  • Ensures safe working conditions for all team members and corrects and/or escalates safety risks when identified

  • Supports the efforts of the company to maintain our food safety system (SQF) and quality programs

This position requires 0% travel.

  • General high school degree, or equivalent, (e.g. GED)

  • Strong attendance and performance record as a Home Chef production associate is required for this position

Hourly Range: $18.50 - $25

Requisition ID: 2023-4262

Street: 6901 West 65th Street

Shift: 1st

Scheduled Days Off: 4-Thursday, 5-Friday