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This job expired on August 12, 2019

Director of Special Events Mess Hall

  • Date Posted July 23, 2019
  • Location Washington, DC
  • Category Business
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

About Mess Hall


Mess Hall is a unique Culinary Incubator. We offer independent food entrepreneurs access to shared commercial kitchens while providing valuable programming to launch and accelerate the growth of these local business. We have a fantastic reputation and are regarded as a vibrant and diverse local food community. Mess Hall provides exclusive resources, support, a strong social network, and innovative partnerships to help pave a path to success for our Members.


Mess Hall is a unique Culinary Incubator and Event Space in Northeast Washington, DC. Our 10,000 square foot facility is shared by over 40 of the city’s most exciting food startups, and we host some of the hottest events. Our event space features an open / demonstration kitchen.


To date, we have hosted pop-up dinners, company holiday parties, weddings / social engagements, panel discussions, cooking classes and more. We have created private events for Twitter, the Smithsonian, DC Brau, and various embassies. Popular ticketed events have included Ramen World, New Kitchens on the Block, Some Disassembly Required and Blazed & Glazed. Nationally-recognized chefs have come to cook on several occasions.


Mess Hall is located near the historic Brookland section of Washington, DC. We have received continued press recognition and national accolades since our opening in 2014. We are recipients of the 2015 Mayor’s Sustainability Award for our greening practices, recognized as one of the Top Business Accelerators in the nation by the US Small Business Administration, and recognized with a Top Innovators award by the Washington Business Journal in 2016.

Job description


A bright, experienced, motivated, and energetic Rock Star to become our Events Director. The role is VERY ENTREPRENEURAL. We want a self-starter who boasts years of experience selling AND executing events, and is ready to put her/his own mark on this position.


This is an exciting and meaty position with endless possibilities, lots of responsibilities, and the chance to drive Mess Hall’s marketing and management of events. His/her main responsibilities will be to develop and expand the Mess Hall brand internally and externally with the goal of maximizing the use of our event space and a focus on hosting captivating events that have never been done before. 


S/he will play a key role in directing and executing all aspects of events hosted at and/or produced by Mess Hall – from planning and promoting events, to booking staff and rental equipment, coordinating menus and alcohol, and ultimately managing each event. Soon the position will grow to oversee additional event staff. This candidate will play a major role in generating revenue for Mess Hall through three major channels:

1)     Imaginative programming, ticketed events and classes

2)     Private event rentals

3)     Pop-up Restaurants

The Events Director will also play a key role in improving and introducing new programs for Mess Hall’s Members and the larger entrepreneurial community. It is a senior management position that answers directly to Mess Hall’s Founder and requires extreme organization, an entrepreneurial-spirit, dedication, flexibility, and tolerance for the day-to-day adventures that accompany the startup landscape. Our ideal candidate is seasoned professional who has existing relationships with area businesses, non-profits, and food professionals. S/he must be able to multi-task, work flexible hours and wear many hats. Responsibilities will include, but are in NO WAY limited to

Event Planning Role

Events may include but are not limited to: company retreats, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, corporate events, pop-up restaurants, holiday markets, trunk shows, food & beverage demonstrations, and cooking classes.


  • Answer event space inquiries promptly and professionally – within 24 hours of initial inquiry.
  • Manage site visit walk-throughs.
  • Create compelling event proposals and negotiate contracts for Mess Hall events.
  • Assist with creating tiered pricing for events.
  • Determine equipment needs – including but not limited to lighting, djs, florist, linens, tables, place settings, chairs, projectors – and facilitate equipment rental accordingly.
  • Organize (create BEO’s) and facilitate F&B orders with Mess Hall members.
  • Arrange for bartenders and staff for events as needed.
  • Manage all vendors during events.
  • Oversee set-up and break-down of events.
  • Enforce Mess Hall rules and regulations while event space is under use.
  • Ensure Mess Hall members have advance notice of any upcoming events or restrictions to event space and incorporate them into the event whenever possible.
  • Develop and enhance Mess Hall’s event programming and ways to promote Mess Hall members to external audiences.
  • Create internal events for Mess Hall members to help entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses
  • Build and improve partnerships with area businesses to either co-host events or for sponsorship opportunities.
  • Forge relationships with up-and-coming chefs for pop-up opportunities.
  • Preserve relationships with clients and vendors who are currently working with Mess-Hall.
  • Expand relationships with new vendors.
  • Track P&L of each event and create monthly reports to reflect P&L.
  • Create systems for event management as needed.
  • Additional duties as required.


Marketing Role

  • Create a Sales & Marketing Plan for using Event Space to create experience
  • As part of the Marketing Plan, create and maintain promotional materials to promote Mess Hall’s event space – including website content, decks, promotional brochures, etc.
  • Determine strategies in which Mess Hall will advertise events to maximize attendance and ticket sales, including electronic newsletters, press releases, outreach to bloggers, and social media.
  • Create compelling sponsorship packages for events and ensure sponsors are properly acknowledged for their involvement.
  • Assist Mess Hall members with promotion and marketing as needed.
  • Manage lists for email blasts and promotional newsletters.
  • Drive Social Media leading up to events, during events, and recap.
  • Create systems for measuring success of marketing efforts and ROI on event marketing endeavors.
  • Additional duties as required.


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and demonstrated capability to perform job responsibilities through previous experiences.
  • Minimum of 3-years CATERING SALES or EVENT SALES experience (includes SELLING AND EXECUTING events).
  • S/he is personable, compassionate, and creative with a love of event planning and marketing and small business/startups.
  • EXTREME eye for detail and an unparalleled desire to do awesome things and do them very well. Accuracy and timeliness is paramount.
  • Deep experience in the restaurant/beverage industry strongly preferred.
  • Experience in marketing / advertising, including the creative use of social media
  • Ability to design sharp marketing pieces using Adobe software is a big plus.
  • Demonstrated abilities in event organization and event promotion.
  • Organized and detail-oriented.
  • Experience negotiating with and managing third party vendors.
  • Experience in hiring staff and working with event planners in DC. Maintaining a rolodex of resources is a plus.
  • Willing to work long hours, including weekends and evenings.
  • Proficient in Excel and possesses the ability to run separate P&L’s for each event.
  • Valid driver’s license. Having a car is a plus.
  • TIPS & ServSafe certification a plus.
Compensation this position is : salaried, varies DOE, $45,000.00 - $65,000.00 Application instructions
This job expired on August 12, 2019
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