Chef Chad Schafer ’03, Leading Corporate Kitchens


Chad Schafer ’03, Director of Culinary at Cargill
Chad Schafer ’03, Senior Director of Culinary Innovation & Commercialization at McDonald’s USA

CIA Alumni Bio

Chef Chad Schafer is the Senior Director of Culinary Innovation & Commercialization at McDonald’s USA. As a member of the Menu Innovation Team, Chad has led the development of the Grand Mac and Mac Jr. as well as introducing fresh beef as opposed to frozen patties on McDonald’s menu.”These burgers are hotter and juicer than our previous quarter pound patties and are made with fresh, 100-percent North American beef that’s simply seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper,” he says.

“Being a chef at McDonald’s is a privilege. We can make a difference in how the globe looks at food and the people that create it,” Chad says. “We focus on what our customers want and strive to make the dining experience better by constantly evolving the menu and improving the quality of our food.”

Corporate Chef

Previously, Chad was the Director of Culinary at Cargill, an international organization and multidimensional producer and marketer of food and beverage ingredients, agricultural commodities, energy transportation and metals, financial and industrial products, personal care, pharmaceuticals, and services. Prior to Cargill, Chad served as Senior Research Chef for Givaudan Flavors and Fragrances.

Chad knew all along that he wanted a food-related career that would be sustainable as the demands of his family grew. That’s in part why he topped off his associate degree with a bachelor’s degree—he was looking to broaden the business side of his education and prepare himself for a corporate workplace.

Chef Chad Schafer majored in culinary arts management at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He is the senior director of culinary innovations & commercialization at McDonald’s USA in Wichita, KS.