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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 a cafe is aware of 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 part needs development?

These problems attribute to one factor—the general lack of employee rewards and recognition in the food and beverage industry.

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

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 aim to 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 took 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.

In between all the difficulties, companies were trying their best to help their employees.

  • 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 -

  • Institutional like the hospitals, universities, corporate cafeterias, etc.

  • Accommodation sector like hotels, room service, etc.

  • Vending and automated food services.

5 Ideas to Elevate Employee Recognition

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

Wish them in every possible way with the help of Vantage Circle's wish feature. Be it a birthday, festival or any special occassion. Our flexible engagement platform allows easy ways to convey meaningful messages.


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

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 allows the peers to convey warm messages in a specially curated digital booklet. Employees can also share different pictures or moments that are special for the one celebrating their anniversary.


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

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 “Employee of the month.”

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 Vanatge Rewards makes timely and on-spot recognizing incredibly easy and convenient. Thus, helping in increasing 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. With Vantage Circle, you can create a seamless process of awarding some 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 hand them out as gifts to your precious employees instantaneously.

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 need to onboard a digital platform that suits your need.

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.

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