By Tristan E. M. Leach
MINHAL Mir always believed in putting her all into the task at hand. In the hustle and bustle of Saxbys, however, Mir is in her element.
She works tirelessly to create a healthy and productive environment for her team and the hundreds of students, faculty and staff alike that they serve everyday.
Mir, a senior marketing major, was chosen to be this semester’s student CEO of Rider’s Saxbys. Prior to being selected for the position, Mir, a transfer student, was working as a graphic designer for Rider’s business college.
The chance to apply for the position came to Mir at an event she attended with previous SCEOs. Nick Bayer, the CEO of Saxbys, and Liz Langemak, the director of academic platforms for Saxbys, were both in attendance. After listening to the previous SCEOs and the company’s top employees, Mir was inspired to apply.
“I heard more from Nick and Liz about the company in general and what [Saxbys] stands for.
I was really impressed by what [Nick and Liz] were doing and the work and opportunities [Nick] has been giving students.” said Mir. “I heard Grace [Ramsey] and Kayelena [Brimage], the previous student CEOs, talk about their experience and I was terrified, but also, why not?”
Even though her experience in a cafe setting was limited to working at a Dunkin’ for a short time, she was excited to take the leap of faith. Mir saw applying for the job as a chance to learn more about herself. She knew she was capable of taking on any task and knew there was no harm in trying.
“I like to try new things, doesn’t matter what they are. I don’t have a specific route I want to take with my job. I want to own my own business someday. I have that entrepreneurial blood because my dad owns his own business. I felt nothing bad could happen; I’m only gonna learn about myself,” said Mir with a smile.
Several months later, Mir found herself at the Saxbys Training Camp in Philadelphia. During these sessions, Mir and her fellow SCEOs trained in working behind the bar and managerial work that is done by each SCEO. The program has SCEOs live in dorm rooms, take classes and become friends with each other. Mir enjoyed the experience as she had never lived on a campus and is currently a commuter at Rider.
“[CEO camp] was one of the most memorable times that I’ve had … I’ve never lived in a dorm and that was the first time I was doing it. It was a really big learning opportunity for me,” said Mir.
After 10 rigorous days of training, Mir was prepared to take on the challenge of running Rider’s Saxbys. She quickly learned what her team needed and worked to provide whatever was necessary to keep Saxbys in good order.
Megyn Kukulka, a senior arts and entertainment industries management major, has worked at Saxbys since its opening in 2021. Kukulka has worked with four SCEOs, including Mir, and has found that each brings something new to the job.
“She very much listens to the team members and makes sure that they’re satisfied and comfortable.
We have a lot of new team members starting this semester so it was definitely a challenge, but she’s done a great job,” said Kukulka.
Since starting her position, Mir has worked to listen to her team and the Rider community. Mir’s biggest goal is to cut down on wait times, which can be as long as two and a half hours.
“I am a listener. I hear conversations about our GrubHub wait time from previous semesters. I’ve also placed orders here. I know how the wait time can be. Being behind bar and being student CEO I see what goes behind [the wait times],” said Mir.
Mir noted that there are several factors to the long times, including being short staffed, food taking longer times to cook and having only a few team members who are trained and allowed to prepare food. She has also worked hard to ensure that all items in an order come out at the same time, allowing for the student to enjoy their food and beverage together, rather than separately.
Mir encourages people to come in person to order if they want a quick drink or snack. These orders become priority because of the in-person status and therefore come out quicker.
She also motivates people to join the Saxbys team.
Not only would this contribute to cutting down on the wait time, but it would also provide valuable work experience.
Mir knows the value of hard work and hopes to continue growing the Saxbys experience for all who enjoy the refreshments or work behind the bar.