Curtain call: Working as a manager at Fresh Food

Each Monday at 11:30 a.m., the performance begins.  Vicksburg senior Meg Redford dons her uniform and, after a 15-minute walk from Campus Habitat, she assumes position and takes the floor.

Redford’s duties as a student manager at Central Michigan University’s popular Fresh Food Company restaurant don’t contribute to a recital one watches for entertainment; instead, her responsibilities are essential to maintaining the residential restaurant’s atmosphere as a pleasurable dining experience.

An average work day for Redford includes ensuring food supplies are full, floors are clean and each station around the restaurant has employees on hand and on the job.

“I make sure everyone’s where they’re supposed to be—and if not, I get them there,” she says.  She prefers these and other floor tasks to work in the office because she wants to be able to work alongside other students and motivate them.

“I like to be busy and I like to make sure my students are staying busy,” Redford says.

Redford’s average work week consists of 19 hours, which she says are very flexible and convenient for her as she studies for a Special Education major and Reading minor while also participating in student organizations such as Best Buddies and Connections That Count.  While her experience in CMU Dining has remained solely with Fresh Food Company, she doesn’t voice any desire to move to another campus restaurant.

“I love it [here] and don’t want to go anywhere else,” she says.

For anyone seeking an audition for future roles in the daily performance of Fresh Food Company, Redford’s words of advice are to focus on customer service as top priority and be helpful  to coworkers regardless of what position you’re in.

“Be open to where you’ll start,” she says.  “I started out as busing tables and worked my way up the ladder.  There’s room to grow.”