SJU Culinary Services Student Employee Handbook

SJU Culinary Services Student Employment Handbook

*Read this handbook thoroughly. All SJU Culinary Services student employees are expected to adhere to all policies and procedures as outlined in this handbook. Electronic handbook receipt to be received by Administrative Manager within first week of employment.  Receipt is available on last page of handbook.

Table of Contents

Welcome from the Director of SJU Culinary Services and Events

Welcome to the St. John’s Culinary Services. Your role within SJU Culinary Services is an important one: as an employee and a goodwill ambassador answering customer’s questions regarding daily service, and supporting the quality of  the Culinary Services operation.

We are happy that you have joined us for this coming year. Our commitment is to provide for all the food, beverage, and event needs of the St. John’s community with courteous, friendly, and helpful service. We must be willing to adapt to the needs of the customer, while maintaining respect for the resources available in our community.

We are in the service business and hopefully, you have both the desire and ability to serve others. We expect you to carry on your work conscientiously, as well as to be courteous and friendly to fellow employees and customers. Make the most of your job by getting to know the Culinary Services staff and your fellow student workers. Take the opportunity to add to your learning experience here at SJU by learning new skills and developing your leadership skills. Together we can make the SJU Culinary Services the best in college food service!

Tony Finnestad
Director of Culinary Services and Events

Welcome from SJU Culinary Services Student Managers

Welcome to St. John’s Culinary Services -Sexton Dining and the Refectory -the two dining establishments on the SJU campus. On top of starting your first year of college, you will be dealing with the challenge of a job. The people you meet at work can help make your job and your college experience more enjoyable. Make use of the people with whom you work -the student supervisors and student managers have all been in your place and can give you advice on how to deal with college. But more than that, the students you work with have the potential to become good friends. Culinary Services is a great place to get to know others; especially when you consider the fact that you will be working with 60 students at Sexton and 72 students at the Refectory.

If you have any questions on policy or other areas, feel free to ask us or your supervisor. With good communication and understanding, employment in Culinary Services will be a valuable and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Daniel Perez   

Ethan Andersen

Bryan Carlos 

Elizabeth Merdan

SJU Culinary Refectory 

SJU Culinary Refectory 

SJU Culinary Sexton 

SJU Culinary Sexton

Student Manager

Assistant Manager

Student Manager

Assistant Manager

SJU Culinary Services Staff

SJU Culinary Services Mission Statement, Purpose and Structure

Our commitment is to provide all hospitality needs of the St. John’s community. Our services will continually adapt to the needs of our customer. We strive to exceed the expectations of all our clients and to be respectful of the resources available in our community.

The purpose of SJU Culinary Service’s student employment program is to provide its customers (most of whom are your peers) quality service at a fair price and to fulfill the financial needs of St. John’s Culinary Services student employees.

The student program at St. John’s Culinary Services employs approximately 150 students. The student program is coordinated and directed by the Dietitian/Administrative Manager and Retail Operations Manager. Training and supervision is conducted by student supervisors and non-student employees. The student supervisors, student managers, and non­student (full and part time) staffs are involved in evaluation, skills development, and promotion selection.

We recognize that student employees are students and employees at the same time. Also, many student employees (including student supervisors/managers) are involved in sports, music groups, and other activities. We at SJU Culinary Services stress that to participate in all such activities successfully at one time requires effective time management, good communication, and commitment.

Description of Job Titles and Tasks

Titles: Refectory  Culinary Services Associate (Blue Crew), Refectory Student Cook, Refectory Student Events/ Catering Associate, Refectory Student Cashier, Refectory Student Sanitation Specialist/ Custodial, Sexton Culinary Services Associate, Refectory Student Warehouse Associate, Refectory Student Baker, Student Supervisor, Student Manager

Function/ Description of the Positions : The ideal candidates for these position will provide excellent food, pleasant service, and sanitary dishes while keeping a clean environment to be enjoyed by the customers of SJU Culinary Services.

Skills used/gained from this position will include : interpersonal communication, teamwork, flexibility, dependability, customer service skills, perseverance. Also will develop ability to follow instructions, work under stress, pay attention to details, and act as a representative of the College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University.

Duties and Responsibilities**:

**All positions will require standing and walking for most of shifts. Some assignments will vary from shift to shift while others will work in the same area each time.  Actual work assignments will depend on your class schedule, your other activities, and the job openings that are available.  Some positions may use strong chemicals for cleaning. Some areas may require heavy lifting, but lifting can be shared.  On-the-job training is provided. Previous experience in food service is helpful but not necessary.  Decision level is minimal. These positions are supervised and employee will work with other people.  Supervisors reserve the right to move employees to different positions as needed to accomodate customer and staffing needs. 

Important Phone Numbers and Email Addresses

Use the following information to contact the Culinary Services department management in case of absence, emergency, or questions.

If you are unable to attend a shift, it is your responsibility to get that shift covered by having a co- worker fill in for you or switching shifts. There may be instances where you may be unable to get your shift covered due to acute illness/ injury or family/ personal emergencies.  In these situations, call your supervisor or Refectory Kitchen/Sexton Commons Kitchen (as appropriate). Be sure to identify yourself, your shift, and your supervisor. Do not leave a voice mail message! Voice Mail messages will NOT be accepted as excuses for missing a work shift. You MUST speak to somebody in order for the absence to be excused.

ContactEmail AddressPhone Number
Refectory Student Managers[email protected]320.363.3489
Refectory Kitchenn/a320.363.3491
Dietitian/ Administrative Manager (Refectory)[email protected]320.363.3489
Sexton Student Managers[email protected]320.363.3229
Sexton Kitchenn/a320.363.3493

Email messages are appropriate for sending info about changes, asking questions, and other misc. communication. You may receive email concerning scheduling times, announcements, newsletters, or other important information from the student management. You are responsible for checking your email and for the information sent.

Responsibilities and Rights

Student Employees have the responsibility to:

Student Employees have the right to:

Financial Aid

The CSB/SJU Student Employment/ Financial Aid Offices oversee the student employment program. You will receive information about work award processes from SJU Student Employee/ Financial Aid Department and Director, Angie Mareck. Information received from this department should be read carefully as it contains important information about your employment and earnings.

The student employment handbook from the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office contains basic information for all jobs on campus. The policies in that handbook are followed by SJU Culinary Services. This SJU Culinary Services student employment guide contains more specific information and policies for Culinary Services employees. If there are questions concerning policy, please check with Culinary Services management.

Work Awards

If an employee quits or is fired, they may not receive a work award in the following school year(s). It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the work award is fulfilled. If you feel that you are not receiving enough hours, contact the Student Managers for further opportunities for work hours. A monthly record of work award hours accumulated is also available upon request from the dietitian Manager.


Student employees are paid twice a month through the Student Accounts Office. The Student Managers will process the cards at the end  of each two week period. All hours are recorded on the student employee’s WhenIWork account and are approved by the Student Managers.

Scheduling of Work Shifts

Weekday shifts are available during breakfast, lunch, dinner, between meals, and late evenings. Since Culinary Services operates on weekends and during finals week, all employees will be scheduled for some weekend hours and shifts during finals week. Actual assignments and schedules will depend on class schedules and other activities, the needs of the customer, and shifts that are available. Most shifts are 3 – 3 ½ hours on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday and Thursday as well as rotating weekends.  Some shifts can be up to 8 hours (1 shift per week).  The length of shifts will depend upon size of work award and availability of the student employee.  Some shifts may be available during academic breaks, see Administrative Manager for details. 

Scheduling for Fall Semester is determined during the summer or on the date of hiring. At the Culinary Services orientation meeting, employees meet their supervisors and receive a tour of Culinary Services facilities. This is also an opportunity to have any work- related questions answered. Employees hired during mid- semester will receive shifts based on current class schedule and availability.

Spring semester scheduling will be set after regristration for Spring semester ends. Schedules are largely determined by the customers’ needs, class schedules, and other activities. Your prompt and thorough replies to emails from the Student Management team during this time are appreciated.

It is your responsibility to notify student managers of class changes and extracurricular activities. Your class changes and lateness to scheduling times will result in decreased availability (or non-availability) of certain shifts for you.

Serving Times, Meals and Breaks

These are general serving times but are suject to change.  See Culinary Services main webpage for specific serving times.  

Refectory hours:
Breakfast 7:15 AM- 10:30 AM
Lunch 11:00 AM- 1:30 PM
Dinner 4:30 PM- 7:15 PM

Brunch 9:00 AM- 1:30 PM
Dinner 4:30 PM- 6:30 PM

All Refectory and Sexton employees must be ready to work five minutes before the meal begins.

Sexton hours:
Monday through Friday 10:30 AM- 9:00 PM

Saturday and Sunday 10:30 AM- 9:00 PM

All shifts that are four hours or longer should have one, unpaid, 30 minute meal break and one, paid, 15 minute break.  Shifts that are eight hours or longer should have one, unpaid, 30 minute meal break and two, paid, 15 minute breaks (may be combined into a 30 minute break).  Direct any break quesitons to your supervisor.  

Meal breaks are the only time which food should be consumed while at work.  


As a student employee, you represent the Culinary Services. It is important that the impression given is one of uniformity, cleanliness, and professionalism. The uniform items issued to you at orientation or at your hiring are your responsibility. If those items are lost or stolen you may be required to purchase replacements.

Each employee is given one personal visor or hat to wear for every shift.  Student employees are also responsible for getting a uniform shirt to wear for the duration of the shift.  After the shift, employees are to place their used shirts in the dirty laundry bin.  Associates should not bring their shirts home with them.

On every shift we expect that you wear:

Health and Sanitation

For health and safety reasons, all employees must wash their hands when reporting to work. Hands must be washed with soap and water after eating, smoking, using the rest room facilities, coughing, scratching, or blowing your nose. Washing your hands upon completing work is also important.  The use of gloves is required whenever you are in direct contact with ready-to-eat foods and when handling clean dishes.  Always change gloves after emptying garbages, touching your hat, hair, face, etc., and inbetween food types. 

Eating, drinking, using a cellphone, smoking, chewing gum, and chewing tobacco are not allowed in the work area while on duty.  Eat and drink only on break times in the dining room. No cups/glasses or personal food items are to be in the serving areas, production areas, or the dishroom.

Student employees also must report illness to the management team if they are experiencing any vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, respiratory issues or if they have been diagnosed with E. Coli 0157:H7, Salmonella, Shigella, or Hepatitis A.  Students experiencing vomiting and/ or diarrhea may not work until at least 24 hours after symptoms are gone.  Students with fever and/ or respiratory issues may work as long as strict sanitation processes are followed, and they may be assigned to different tasks in order to minimize risk of spreading the illness.  Students experiencing jaundice should be checked for Hepatitis A, and should follow doctor recommendations about any work restrictions.     

Progressive Discipline

All student employees are at- will employees that are required to follow the rules and policies of the department. In the case that a student employee fails to meet the employment standards, SJU Culinary Services adheres to the “three strikes and you’re out” disciplinary program. Essentially, student employees are given two opportunities to correct unfavorable behavior before the possibility of termination.

Unexcused absences, tardiness, and general insubordination will be addressed by the issuance of a warning letter. Student employees are given two notices of violation before termination. Upon receiving the third notice of violation, a student’s job will be terminated. Students will receive this written notification of a violation from the Student Management Office.  A copy will be kept for Student Management records, & a copy will be sent to the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office, which is kept in your employment file.

Student Supervisors will deal directly with any problem that may occur during their shift. Student managers will determine excused absences. If the employee feels that the supervisor has incorrectly interpreted the action, the conflict must be presented to the Student Manager. Non-student employees (full & part time employees) also have supervisor responsibilities & follow the same guidelines as student supervisors.

Students can be terminated immediately from their Culinary Services position for the following reasons:

Student Management reserves the right to terminate employees according to policy. If an employee feels unfairly treated, she/he may appeal to the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office. Note: Termination from Culinary Services may result in loss of all future work award money through SJU Student Employment/ Financial Aid Department.

Attendance Policies and Procedures

Absences & tardiness are serious hindrances to any business. Work shifts are scheduled as efficiently as possible around class schedules to provide a balance between work & study. Missed work shifts more than 5 hours long may count as two (2) absences due to the increased impact of an absent employee. A notice of violation will be given when an employee fails to show up, and does not have a qualified substitute, or is more than fifteen minutes late on two occasions. Any missed weekend shifts will result in a mandatory make- up shift the following weekend in addition to a warning letter.

**Absences will be excused if an effort has been made to communicate BEFORE the scheduled work shift to the supervisor and it is one of the following situations:

  1. Family emergency
  2. Personal injury or health reasons (a doctor’s slip may be requested)

Voice mail messages, emails, or notes WILL NOT be accepted as excuses for missing a work shift. Warning letters will be issued for any abcenses that are not pre- approved or that are not covered by another student employee.

Can’t make it to one of your shifts? Find a substitute! Or switch shifts with another student empoyee!  The substitution policy gives the student employees a chance to uphold their responsibility toward work shifts (both weekday & weekend shifts), thus avoiding conflicts with their work schedule & providing a substitute to make sure the customer is served.

In the event a student cannot make the work shift, a substitute must be found. Email the student managers and use WhenIWork to find a sub.  

Training Programs

On-the-job training is given for all SJU Culinary Services positions. Employees will be trained by Student supervisors and managers, other student employees, and non-student employees. Be sure to ask questions during your training to ensure that you are comfortable completing all aspects of your job.

Friends Looking for Work

After mid September, jobs are opened up to anyone interested in a job (no work award needed). Before that, on-campus employment is limited to those with work awards.


If you are considering resigning from your position, please discuss your work situation with your Student Supervisors or Managers. Often there may be other options available to you. If time concerns are an issue, you may be required to talk to Academic Advising before notice is given. After notifying Culinary Services student management and your supervisor, notify the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Coordinator.

If you decide that you want to quit your job, you are expected to give a two (2) week written notice unless other arrangements have been made. (Official two week notice starts on the day when your written notice is given in person to student management). If you do not give or fulfill the two-week notice, you may not qualify for another on-campus job.  Also, if you do not fulfill your two-week obligation, your record will note that you were terminated.

In order to provide consistent service for our customers, no letters of resignation will be accepted within the last three weeks (including finals) of school. Our customers expect the same service during the last weeks of school as the rest of the school year.

If you decide to resign your job for spring semester after working fall semester, you must turn in your notice before the end of fall semester – preferably when sign-up for the next semester occurs. This helps us to plan for hiring needs for the next semester.


With the help of student employees, supervisors, managers, & full-time staff, an evaluation is completed for each student worker at least once per year. Areas covered in the evaluation will include: job knowledge, responsibility, job energy and people skills. You also may have an opportunity to evaluate your supervisor. Potential employers may call for references.

Student managers and other supervisors will also informally “check- in” with student employees to assess job satisfaction and to answer any questions. Student employees do not need to wait for these opportunities to address issues and concerns; you are encouraged to approach peers and superiors with any questions or concerns at any time.

References from SJU Culinary Services

Your Culinary Services work experience is a valuable part of your college experience. Feel free to use Culinary Services as a reference. Address your reference request to the manager of Sexton or the Refectory. Many jobs on & off-campus do call for references & to verify your employment.

Scheduling of Special Events

St. John’s hosts many special events that involve catering by the Culinary Services. Occasionally, these events may require that specific shifts work at the event or work late in assisting with clean up. Employees will be informed ahead of time of their scheduling at these events. All Culinary Services policies apply to those working such events. During special events such as Pinestock, holiday dinners and finals shifts, an unexcused absence may elicit different disciplinary actions.

Working During Special Circumstances

In cases of emergencies -snowstorms, etc., when classes are canceled or the University is officially closed, student workers scheduled for regular hours during this time are still expected to report to the work shift, unless they live off campus. Also, student workers may be called to work when it is not safe for the full-time employees to report to work.

Advancement Opportunities

Each year there are opportunities for advanced positions- cashier, Br. Willie’s Pub, student supervisor, and student manager are a few of the positions available. These positions, along with the additional responsibilities, may offer higher wages & opportunities to develop leadership skills. All such positions are one-year commitments, & all employees will need to reapply for subsequent years. Look for information on applying for these positions in the Culinary Services newsletters in the late fall for Spring semester & late Spring for the following Fall semester.

Employee of the Month

Each month, student management selects employees who show their commitment to the Culinary Services through their hard work, positive attitude, willingness to help others on the job, and friendliness toward customers and co-workers. Employees are selected from Sexton and from the Refectory to be the employees of the month. Each employee of the month receives a prize.

Customer Service

Culinary Services provides a service for our customers -whether the customer is a fellow student, faculty, staff, prospective student and parents, or a guest of St. John’s.  We want to provide tasty, pleasing meals served by courteous, helpful employees in a pleasant and clean environment. A few points to remember to make the customer’s experience a positive one: