Every year, I take my staff to Whistler, BC and try to show my appreciation by cooking for them and pairing wines. Most of the staff are not wine drinkers, so I have found that if I offer wines that have a bit of sweetness in the whites and a bit of jamminess in the reds, that most of the staff can find something they like. Here was our food and drink list this year,

Friday Night Snacks
Cheeses - Manchego, Saint Agur-Blue Cheese, Portineau Triple Cream Brie
Charcouterie - Prosciutto, Salami, Ham
Mixed olives, baguette, crackers
Spread
Brickstone Fine Foods Caramelized Onion Confit

Weekend Sippers
2006 Salamandra - Spain
2005 Cycles Gladiator Syrah – US
2006 Southern Most Red - Argentina
2006 See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay - Canada
2006 Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca

Saturday Brunch

Watermelon Basket
Sour Cherry Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Maple Smoked Bacon
Paired with Codorníu Cuvée Raventos Brut N/V and Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, Mimosa.

Saturday Dinner
Westcoaster Salmon Salad - candied salmon and goats cheese in a maple balsamic vinaigrette Duval-Leroy Paris Label Champagne and the 2006 Santa Rita Pinot Noir

Black Bean Cakes with Prawns in a Spicy Cilantro Sauce paired with 2006 Vina Esmeralda

Poached Halibut with Citrus Basil Sauce, Served with steamed Fingerling Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrots with herb butter paired with 2006 Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc or,

Roast Chicken Breast with Demi-glace, Potato Pave, steamed carrots, green beans with herb butter served with 2003 Ostatu Crianza Rioja Alavesa

Caper’s Chocolate Mousse and Carrot Cake
Served with Mission Hill Reserve Late Harvest Riesling Ice Wine and Graham Six Grapes Vintage Character Port.

Everyone seemed pretty happy with the weekend, and I was exhausted from all the cooking. Man I don't envy those who do that for a living.
Original Post
Yeah, it certainly was a lot of work, but I think it goes much further than a cash bonus. Every year when we come back, we are re-energized and have a greater sense of unity. It's kinda like Babette's Feast - people who don't really think they're into food and wine, actually really enjoy it and we deepen our commitment to each other and our work.

This may all sound a bit airy fairy and certainly wouldn't be my employee perk if we were working in a factory, but we are providing treatment to young children with Autism, so something more human than a cash bonus seems to work for us.
we actually did an anonymous survey of the staff and the top two choices for "rewards" or a thank you from the firm were 1). cash money & 2) extra paid time off.

Although we do provide the occasional lunch for the entire staff and celebrate birthdays once a month - people want the money or the time off....

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