In 2015, Saxbys introduced our pioneering Experiential Learning Program (ELP), designed to embolden the next generation of changemakers by providing undergraduates with entrepreneurial opportunities as a supplement to traditional classroom learning.
Every Saxbys ELP cafe is exclusively student-run and helmed by a Student Cafe Executive Officer (SCEO)
who is empowered to develop their peers into team leaders, ideate and implement creative marketing initiatives, strengthen relationships with community organizations and enact change with meaningful social impact outreach.
All the while, the students are responsible for managing their peers, overseeing all cafe operations, and presenting profit and loss statements monthly to Saxbys’ Executive Team, including CEO Nick Bayer.
"As SCEO [Student Cafe Executive Officer] ... I learned Financial Management, how to inspire and lead, and my own self-worth in ways I never imagined.”
- Paige Robbins, SCEO of Saxbys Millersville
Each SCEO in the program receives ongoing mentorship and training, wages, bonus opportunities, and full academic credit for the semester, but that is just the quantifiable surface. Underscoring the brand’s core mission to “Make Life Better,”
Saxbys ELP is providing a real world, entrepreneurial experience for undergrads, namely, the willingness and ability to take risks and drive change towards the productivity of a business and the betterment of its community.
Under our three defining pillars --
Team Development, Community Leadership and Financial Management
-- Saxbys is helping students foster the unique skill sets they need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace and redefining the value of their undergraduate degree in the process.
Knowing people are the greatest resource of every organization, Team Development responsibilities challenge students to actively develop their leadership skills, promote teamwork, and learn resilience and cultural agility - all through a lens of genuine hospitality. In this arena, SCEOs are constantly working to enhance their emotional intelligence, and according to Fast Company, “those who were strongest in emotional intelligence were more likely to succeed than those strongest in either IQ or relevant previous experience.”
As a company that takes pride in serving itself by serving others, Community Leadership is a defining pillar of the ELP curriculum. In that realm, students gain the power skills they need to enact positive social impact, while implementing both critical thinking and creativity to build innovative and comprehensive strategies.
You can learn more about the many ways Saxbys’ strives to positively impact the communities it serves here.
"As SCEO [Student Cafe Executive Officer], I went from knowing nothing of entrepreneurship to being completely responsible for a team of 40+ of my peers, creating impactful partnerships with the community we serve, and taking on full autonomy of our extremely busy cafe in six short months. I learned Financial Management, how to inspire and lead, and my own self-worth in ways I never imagined,” said Paige Robbins, SCEO of Saxbys Millersville. "My SCEO term has resulted in degree changes, developed a working understanding of all aspects of a successful business, and taught me I am an innovative professional capable of proposing solutions for complex problems. I believe the skills I developed in such a quick six months set me apart in the professional landscape."
“When we evaluate learning holistically--across Team Development, Community Leadership, and more traditional teachings like Financial Management-- the sum of the parts is something you cannot replicate in a traditional classroom curriculum.”
- Saxbys Founder and CEO, Nick Bayer
But, like all successful business models, responsible financial management needs to serve as a foundation for everything we do. Saxbys’ Executive Team works closely alongside all ELP team members to teach digital and data fluency; heighten analytical skills and deductive reasoning; and introduce systems thinking into daily operations.
“When we evaluate learning holistically--across Team Development, Community Leadership, and more traditional teachings like Financial Management-- the sum of the parts is something you cannot replicate in a traditional classroom curriculum,” said Saxbys Founder and CEO, Nick Bayer.
“It has been tremendous to watch students embrace this program, truly commit to it, and enter today’s job market ready to thrive.”
After their time with us, each SCEO and their leadership team receive career coaching from Saxbys’ corporate team including job interview training, assistance in developing their resume and LinkedIn profile, as well as job placement services.
Saxbys currently operates ten ELP cafes with eight partner institutions: La Salle University, Millersville University, Drexel University (with two locations on campus) Temple University (with two locations on campus), West Chester University, Pennsylvania State University, St. Joseph’s University, and Bowie State University, with an additional two locations on the way at the University of Pittsburgh.