The season of gratitude approaches, and it’s time to make a plan for how you’ll show appreciation for your food business’s employees through a thoughtful gift.
You may not want to go to the ole corporate swag catalog, however. One study found that, while 57% of people say they’re more likely to be loyal and continue working for companies that offer kind gifts, 37% said they’ve felt underappreciated in the past based on a rather thoughtless gift.
We asked the Galley team what kinds of employer holiday gifts they’d love to receive working in food and culinary operations, so you can skip the catalog browse and find a gift that’s food-relevant and demonstrates thoughtful gratitude.
Here’s what they suggested:
This suggestion first came from Meghan on our marketing team, but it seems to be a well-beloved gift idea. The thing about wine is, nearly everyone has a wine appreciation and partakes at home, but very few people have the confidence to identify a truly exceptional bottle (or the budget boldness to spend more than $30).
Therefore, if you’re going to give wine as a gift, we suggest keeping a few things in mind:
- Don’t go everyday—pick a wine with a producer mission or values that align to your brand, high-dollar, or made locally (bonus points for all three!)
- Select a non-alcoholic wine for employees who do not take alcohol (these have come a long way in the last few years)
Because some people may see wine as a lower-hanging-fruit gift idea, it might be worth spicing the gift up with some experience element. We’ve seen this manifest in a few ways:
- Hosting a company wine tasting with a sommelier that shows up on-site (or virtually), and then sends a bottle home with the team
- Taking a day off from work to visit a local winery as a team, then sending everyone home with a bottle.
- Gifting a VIP visit to a local winery that employees can enjoy on their own time when ready
Vendors: Local Wineries, Eater Wine Club, MYSA Natural Wine
Abby on our customer success team wisely told us that additional Paid Time Off can be a relief and welcome surprise for hourly workers, and the same can apply for gifting Mandatory Vacation Days to salaried team members.
While less personalized than some of our other ideas, the gift of time off is a not-so-subtle demonstration that you want your employees to have opportunities to take care of themselves and enjoy themselves outside the workplace (unfortunately, not something everyone can say for their employer).
Keep in mind that any gift with a value of over $500 is considered a taxable benefit by the IRS that employees must pay taxes on, and the value of PTO / Vacation Days can add up quickly.
The more “out of left field” you go with gift ideas, often the less relevant they become to your team. There’s a relevance for creativity trade-off. Custom LEGO sets or minifigures turn it around and, since you can build virtually anything, blend your most creative ideas with relevant looks and uses. Thanks to Garrett in marketing for this suggestion.
Though LEGO gifts are primarily decorational, they’re quirky and fun enough to delight even the most practical on your team. Here are some
Perhaps there’s a food your brand is known for that you could re-create with LEGO, or a piece of artwork in your team’s office, or a particular foodservice setting your company is proud of—the limit is your imagination.
Vendors: WL WYB, Mocs Us, Minifig Labs
Prices tend to start at 29.99 per set!
Search for “personalized Yeti” on Twitter and you’ll come across thousands of tweets from employees saying they still use an old Yeti corporate gift from years ago.
While it’s easy to slap your company logo on a tumbler and call it a day, employees are more likely to feel a stronger pride with the tumbler and their role in your company if you instead go with design that incorporates a meaningful or mission phrase, or your tagline—something with an emotional hook or pizzazz.
Insulated tumblers have gone through cycles of being popular gifts over the last decade, so it’s possible that many on your team already have one (or three). Subtly ask around to find out how saturated this gift type is among employees.
However, given how durable and useful these items are long-term, nobody—and we mean nobody—can complain about having more than one in their kitchen cabinet. Plus, owning more than one means your employees are more likely to switch them out and clean them.
Vendors: Yeti, HydroFlask, RTIC
Chris Washa, our Global Ambassador Lead at Galley, had the genius idea of giving professional massages to teams. Not 15-minutes drop-ins at the office, but full-on, multi-session massage packages.
Those of us in office settings likely experience strain in the lower back from sitting for hours at a time (with questionable posture). Those of us who spend more time on our feet in kitchens could similarly use a good massage to keep the whole series of muscles from feet to shoulders stretched and happy.
Vendors: Local Massage Specialists and Salons
These are a bunch of great ideas, but we’d be remiss to note that a good gift—even a fantastic one—can’t keep away holiday-sized Sunday Scaries when your employees feel a sense of dread that the holidays are over. Back to the old grind, which is especially disheartening when it means going back to processes and software that make them feel like they’re stuck in 1995.
Galley is a modern Culinary Operating System for food companies that takes the headache out of costing, developing, and planning food.
By using food data as modular building blocks and automating many highly cumbersome tasks (like costing or scaling recipes), Galley relieves your culinary, operations, and finance teams of human errors, reporting delays, and slow reporting go-to-market times.
It’s the gift of superpowers for food planning professionals who want to be more efficient, impactful, and less stressed.
Learn more about how Galley can transform your team’s efficiency and skills.
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