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5 Actionable Employee Rewards and Recognition Ideas for the Food and Beverages Industry

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Anyone who has visited a restaurant or cafe knows how intense the food and beverage industry can be.

The hours are long, the wages low, and engagement is almost nil.

These conditions made me think, what could be the reason behind it? Is the manager not treating them well? Which particular area needs improvement?

These problems are attributed to the food and beverage industry's lack of rewards and recognition.

While some places practice recognition, most businesses don't acknowledge it.

Key Takeaways

  1. Importance of the Food and Beverage Industry.
  2. Types of Food and Beverage Service
  3. Ways through which you can Improve Employee Recognition for this particular Industry

If you are a leader in the F&B industry, it's high time you know how to make your people feel happy and appreciated. And to do that, this article will provide actionable suggestions to keep the employees happy.

The Importance of Food and Beverage Industry


The industry itself is pretty vast. In fact, In the United States, more than 1.7 million people are employed in the food and beverage industry. And this massive workforce is unhappy with their current working conditions.

However, the current pandemic has taken a significant toll on the industry. Thousands of people were left unemployed while the industry struggled to bounce back. With continuous worldwide lockdowns, the F&B industry incurred heavy losses.

Companies tried their best to help their employees in between all the difficulties.

  • Nestle said it would pay total salaries for at least three months to employees affected by work stoppages to prevent coronavirus spread.

  • PepsiCo enhanced its employee benefits and provided full payment during the crucial period.

But that scenario is changing slowly. After a tough time, the planet is regaining its stability, providing a ray of hope for the industry.

The current scenario made us realize how pivotal the said industry is with its services. Their importance in our life is vital. The employees were tirelessly fulfilling their duties while fighting the pandemic.

Below is a list of few pointers stating the importance of the industry-

  • Forms a significant part of the hospitality sector

  • Provides a sustainable food and beverage production

  • Without this industry, the world would have seen a large scale food shortage

  • Help bring different cultures together and bring awareness about them

  • Improve the global supply chain of products

Types of Food and Beverage Service


The F&B industry consists of different sectors. But it is mainly made up of two categories.

The categories are-

1. Commercial Sector

The commercial sector makes up the largest sector of the F&B industry. It mainly consists-

  • Quick-service restaurants, mostly fast-food joints

  • Full-service restaurants comprising fine dining and diverse options

  • Catering and banqueting services

  • Alcohol services like pubs and bars

2. Non-Commercial Sector

The non-commercial sector mostly makes up the administrative services. It mainly consists -

  • Institutions like hospitals, universities, corporate cafeterias, etc.

  • Accommodation sector like hotels, room service, etc.

  • Vending and automated food services.

5 Ideas to Elevate Employee Recognition


Below is a list of a few ideas on how a leader can work on improving employee recognition for the food and beverage industry.

1. Celebrate Every Achievement


Taking care of your customers is always the priority. But who are the ones that satisfy your customer with the services?

The answer is simple- your hard-working employees with their dedication and enthusiasm.

They ensure that-

  • Customers get the best experience.

  • The needs and requirements of clients are fulfilled.

Accumulating good feedback or genuine reviews are a few achievements you can look out for. Celebrate the achievements and the small wins that the team earns every day.

Once you achieve that, make sure to recognize your people publicly. Doing so will boost the employees’ morale and create a culture of recognition.

You can publicly recognize your employees with the help of virtual recognition tools available in the market. One such tool is Vantage Circle’s Rewards and recognition platform. With the help of its social feed, you can acknowledge your employees publicly with the help of different badges. Moreover, the workforce can join and congratulate the employee on the social feed. They can like the post, comment with different pictures, and upload them.


This makes it more interesting and engaging for everyone, which plays its part in improving engagement within the organization.

Recommended: A Complete Guide To Employee Recognition

2. Do not forget birthdays and anniversaries


Yes, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries is a way to recognize your employees. It just shows that as a manager, you value them.

Celebrating your employees' special days can be monumental in making them feel valued. It is a great way to increase their job satisfaction levels.

But you need to automate that system. One such tool that can help a manager is Vantage Circle. With this tool, you can instantly get notifications about essential occasions and post them in the social feed.

Moreover, the tool provides the users with a unique feature in the form of a Service Yearbook. This lets the peers convey warm messages in a specially curated digital booklet. Employees can also share special pictures or moments for the one celebrating their anniversary.


This will enable you to facilitate an employee-centric culture and boost employee confidence.

Employee Recognition Platform that You Need

3. Make room for Public Appreciation


Appreciating employees for their excellent work is essential. Every little accomplishment needs appreciation.

You can appreciate them by-

  • Publicly acknowledging them in front of your customers

  • Using online tools for peer appreciation

  • Handing them the title of ‚ÄúEmployee of the month.‚ÄĚ

Do make sure that the message of appreciation is clear and concise. With Vantage Rewards’ flexible appreciation module, you can publicly acknowledge the efforts they put into it. The best part is that Vantage Rewards makes timely and on-spot recognition incredibly easy and convenient. Thus, helping to increase employee satisfaction and engagement levels.

Remember, your customer satisfaction is only achievable if your employees are satisfied. And appreciating your people for their contribution is the best way to ensure that.

Read more: Employee Engagement- A Complete Guide

4. Treat them with Gifts


Who doesn’t love gifts? I, for one, am always happy when I receive them for doing a good job.

The same goes for your employees. When they truly go above and beyond for their jobs, they deserve to be made feel special.

Appreciating them and recognizing them for their efforts help. But treating them in an exemplary manner elevates your recognition efforts.

You can-

  • Hand out paid holiday packages to them

  • Provide Spotify or Netflix subscriptions

  • Offer sabbatical whenever they need

  • Provide team lunch with team members

The list can go on if we talk about it. But the main focus here is to have a system that makes rewarding your people more straightforward. And you can explore different platforms that fit your budget and vision. However, you can try out Vantage Circle to create a seamless process of awarding great gift cards, reward points, and employee perks for your best workers..

These deals are specially curated for a workforce. As a manager, you can redeem them and immediately hand them out as gifts to your precious employees. Moreover, you can also track the deal data and check the workforce's engagement through an interactive reports dashboard.

5. Foster a Culture of Peer Recognition

Employee morale is crucial in such a vast industry. And the practice of peer recognition for their accolades is the best way to leverage that. From physical to digital peer recognition, everything counts.

And since social distancing is the new norm, virtual peer recognition is the best way to practice it. To do that, you must onboard a digital platform that suits your needs.

With Vantage Circle’s cloud-based interactive user interface, a manager can elevate their efforts of peer recognition. The social feed in the platform allows employees to award their peers with different titles in a fun and effective way.

Such systems make sure that employers bring value to their peer recognition process. And help employees value their colleagues in the long term.


Summing it Up

Implementing robust employee rewards and recognition programs for such a big industry is not an easy task. Proper management and rigid planning are essential. It is crucial to keep in mind the requirements and needs of a company. You need to structure the program that will benefit you the most.

These are just a few of the reward and recognition ideas to elevate the cause. If there are any more suggestions, do let us know in the comments section below.


1. How can employee rewards and recognition programs improve staff retention in the food and beverage industry?

A. Employee rewards and recognition programs create a positive work environment that fosters loyalty and reduces turnover.

2. What are the key benefits of implementing a peer recognition system in restaurants and cafes?

A. Peer recognition systems promote camaraderie and motivation among employees, increasing job satisfaction and productivity.

3. How can the food and beverage industry leverage technology to enhance employee recognition efforts?

A. Utilizing technology streamlines recognition efforts and allows for timely and personalized acknowledgments, boosting employee engagement.

4. What are some creative and cost-effective ways to recognize and reward frontline staff in the Food & Beverage sector?

A. Show appreciation with personalized gestures like thank-you notes or small gifts, which can significantly impact without major costs.

5. How does employee recognition contribute to a positive work culture and restaurant customer experience?

A. Employee recognition cultivates a positive work culture, leading to happier employees who provide better customer experiences.

Mrinmoy Rabha is a content writer and digital marketer at Vantage Circle. He is an avid follower of football and passionate about singing. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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