The holidays are busy for all of us.
But that doesn’t even come close to how busy restaurants get this time of year.
Starting around Thanksgiving until the new year, it’s all hands on deck. Restaurants experience some of their most high-volume services of the year.
There’s no doubt it’s good for business, but staff can often get pushed to their limits. In the spirit of the holidays, there’s no better time to consider gifts for your staff.
Cash is a solid option they’ll always love. But a little extra thought can go a long way to show them you care and your appreciation. Here are 20 brilliant gifts ranging in price to help give you some much-needed inspiration.
Gifts for relaxation and chilling out
After standing and serving customers all day, restaurant staff deserve gifts that help them mentally and physically unwind and recharge. Here are some thoughtful gift ideas promoting relaxation and relief for those hard workers.
1. Acupressure body strap ($40)
Easing stubborn stress has never been more approachable with the
Bed of Nails Acupressure Body Strap. It's like a stress-busting caregiver swooping in to carry the day. Plus, it's portable, so it's always with you. Anyone working in a kitchen will tell you your body will get tested daily. 2. Vanilla bath gift basket ($25)
Break out the bathrobes and bring on the heavenly smell of vanilla! One of the hits on Body & Earth's best-seller list hits is the
Vanilla Bath Gift Basket for just $24.99. This richly indulgent ensemble of bath goodies is the stuff of dreams for weary souls. The comforting blend of vanilla might not whisk staff away to Tahiti, but it will undoubtedly sprinkle their daily routine with a sweet serenity. Thoughtful gifting, empowering relaxation, here we come. 3. Streaming service subscription ($8.99-$15.99/month)
When it's time to log off, nothing works like thousands of movies and TV shows to lose yourself in. Be it Netflix or Hulu (or the seemingly
too many others that have come out), this monthly dose of endless entertainment is the perfect recipe for a guilt-free switch-off session. 4. Essential oil diffuser ($25-$50)
Catch the stress by its nostrils and woosh it out of the window! The
VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser($49.39) helps create a calming, stress-busting atmosphere with the power of scents. Say goodbye to stress and hello to Zen. 5. Gym membership ($20-$50/month)
Balance their vigorous work routine with a stress-smashing, empowering
gym membership. This ticket to physical wellness might turn the staff into health enthusiasts. There’s a lot to be said about the mental health benefits that come with regular physical activity. In the end, encouraging them to be healthy is a win for everybody. 6. Ivation foot spa massager ($80)
Help your staff soothe their deserving feet with the royal treatment only the
Ivation Foot Spa Massager can offer. This multi-function spa device includes a heated bath, automatic massage rollers, vibration, and bubbles for a comprehensive sensory experience. The adjustable temperature control, timer, and advanced LED display make it a fantastic foot haven. 7. Bodum Tea Press ($11-$40)
tea lover's delight, these tea presses from Bodum come with a glass handle and colored plastic lid. They provide an elegant and easy way of brewing fresh loose-leaf tea. The convenience these tea presses offer enhances the tea-drinking experience, making it a heartfelt gift for enthusiasts. 8. Shoe inserts ($15-$100+)
Restaurant staff literally spend their entire shifts on their feet, making
shoe inserts an excellent gift. By providing high-quality shoe inserts, you demonstrate a thoughtful consideration for the toll their work can take. This practical yet caring gift can significantly reduce the physical strain associated with restaurant work, showing your staff that you value their efforts, health, and comfort. Gifts for kitchen pros and budding home cooks
This list is about enhancing the functionality and the enjoyment of cooking. These gift ideas are just the ticket for your team's seasoned chef or budding home cooks.
9. Sharpening stones and leather strop ($20-$130)
Think of this as
gifting precision. Keeping knives perfectly sharp enhances safety and increases culinary capabilities. Many kitchen professionals are very familiar with these and likely already own some or prefer other methods for keeping their knives in good condition. For more novice cooks, encouraging them to learn knife sharpening can give them a greater appreciation for these critical kitchen tools. They’ll never want to go back when they’ve experienced an impressively sharp edge. 10. Gray Kunz spoons ($12-$50)
With their reputation as a premium tool in the culinary world,
Gray Kunz spoons make an outstanding gift for restaurant staff, offering both a touch of luxury and practicality in their daily tasks. These aren’t just any old spoons; they’re practically the Rolls-Royce of spoons. 11. Mandoline slicer ($30-$200)
Known as a great time-saver, it's the key to fast, uniform
slicing of fruits and vegetables. This tool streamlines the preparation process, allowing chefs to effortlessly achieve precise and consistent cuts, enhancing the quality and presentation of their dishes. Professional cooks will be more than familiar with this tool, but novices will gain a better appreciation when they nail a perfect potato galette for the first time. 12. Wine Pairing Towel Set ($15-$40)
fun tool for servers and those newer to the wide world of wine, these towels can be helpful to get them experimenting and learning flavor combinations. Wine and food pairings are subjective as any wine person will tell you. While we like to think there are hard and fast rules, there aren’t any. However, learning the most common pairings should provide a solid foundation for learning. 13. Anova Precision Cooker ($80-$200)
A trendy and precise tool endorsed by professionals,
a tool for sous vide cooking techniques allows even a beginner cook to achieve chef-level outcomes. This one from Anova has an app with step-by-step recipes, ensuring that perfectly cooked meals are a button push away. Again, this is another excellent tool for front-of-house staff interested in cooking and will help them understand more advanced cooking techniques. 14. Compost bin ($90+)
eco-friendly gift that encourages sustainability and gardening, compost bins transform kitchen waste into nutrient-rich compost, perfect for staff who enjoy cultivating their green thumbs. With options suited to varying spaces and composting needs, these bins offer a practical and educational contribution to a more sustainable lifestyle. 15. A (nice) knife roll ($45+)
No tool is more valuable to a chef than a knife. Over time, many chefs will amass a collection of fine knives they come to cherish. That’s why you might want to look into snagging a
great knife roll to help them carry these functional works of art and keep them safe during their daily commute. You can never go wrong with canvas, although finding one with decent leather is a nice touch. Gifts with a fun or unique twist
Choosing the right gift takes time and consideration, creating a connection between you and your staff. Some educational and enriching gift ideas cater to various interests, hobbies, and professional expertise.
But if you want to get a bit more creative with your gift, you’ll have to dig deep. Or, you could just check out this list to get some more inspiration. 16. A book with a humorous take on hospitality ($16+)
An enlightening and entertaining read tailored for service industry professionals,
by Steve Dublanica sheds light on the realities of the profession, providing humorous relatability, valuable insights, and tips for mastering the craft. Guests are the lifeblood of any thriving restaurant – but we promise it’s OK to have a good laugh about them occasionally (alright, more often). Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip 17. Woodworking class (Prices vary)
An opportunity to learn a new skill outside of work pressures.
Woodworking classes can offer a creative outlet and set the foundation for a rewarding hobby, fostering patience, precision, and a new form of self-expression. 18. Ceramic class (Prices vary)
It is an exciting and artistic alternative for those exploring pottery and sculpting.
Ceramic classes cultivate creativity and enable your staff to learn new skills, building patience, focus, and coordination. This unique gift can foster a sense of accomplishment and relaxation outside the workplace. 19. A book on wine ($15+)
Wine can be intimidating to get into, especially when you learn just how expansive and huge it is. You could spend a lifetime learning about grape varieties, the diversity of styles, and the countless microclimates worldwide, so consider if anyone on your staff is eager to learn more with
a good book on the subject. 20. A nice notebook ($5+) A creative tool for your culinary-focused staff, this journal provides a dedicated space for ideating new dishes, capturing recipe inspiration, or simply jotting down memorable experiences in the kitchen or dining room. With thoughtful designs and ample writing space, give them a nice notebook they’ll actually be excited to fill up. Why small gestures go a long way with your staff
The restaurant industry can feel like the world’s most chaotic juggling act. High employee turnover, the need to adapt to ever-changing customer preferences, and the spice of competition make it clear that to stand out, restaurants need to embrace innovation.
From utilizing AI for restaurants to free up staff to focus on in-house guests to exploring ways of boosting employee retention, restaurants need to adapt unlike ever before.
When you present gifts that mirror your employees' interests and hobbies or help nourish their career growth, it's like serving them a big plate of "you matter." When employees feel seen and recognized, it stirs up their engagement levels and fosters commitment.
Ready to learn how AI can transform your guest experience? Book a free demo today to see how Slang.ai can help.