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Director of Special Events Mess Hall

  • Date Posted November 06, 2023
  • 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.


Our facility is also a hotspot for innovative food-related events. Our premium event space and demo kitchen enables us to uniquely produce buzzworthy events such as Ramen World, New Kitchens on the Block and Some Disassembly Required. We also host killer private events.


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. We were also a RAMMYs Finalist for 2020-2021.


Mess Hall is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to diversity and building an equitable and inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and experiences. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented groups to apply, including people of color, LGBTQ+ people, veterans, and people with disabilities. 

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 their own mark on this position. Must be adept in creating social media strategies and posting on-brand messaging to IG, X (formerly Twitter) and FB.  

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. Main responsibilities will be to expand the Mess Hall brand 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. This person 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. The candidate 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Other related assignments as necessary. 

Marketing Role

  • Drive Social Media leading up to events, during events, and recap.
  • Expand Social Media reach via dynamic engagement. 
  • Collaborate on promotional materials to activate Mess Hall’s event space – including website content, decks, promotional brochures, etc.
  • Create compelling sponsorship packages for events and ensure sponsors are properly acknowledged for their involvement.
  • Create systems for measuring success of marketing efforts and ROI on event marketing endeavors.
  • Other related assignments as necessary.


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and demonstrated capability to perform job responsibilities through previous experiences.
  • Minimum of 2 years event experience.
  • The ideal candidate is actively part of the DC community and enjoys networking and meeting new people.
  • Is personable, compassionate and creative with a passion for food/cooking, and small business/startups.
  • EXTREME eye for detail and an unparalleled desire to do awesome things and do them very well. Accuracy is paramount.
  • Is a self-starter who is highly organized, with the ability to multitask. The candidate must be able to create a project and/or task list and execute on each idea logically.
  • Has experience building networks and community relationships with a diverse array of partners.
  • Has excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Proficient in Excel, a social media guru, and handy with mobile technology.
  • MUST be available to work some nights and weekends.
  • Experience in shared workspaces is a plus.
  • Experience in commercial kitchens is a also a plus



Compensation this position is : salaried, 50k-75k Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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