Food for the Holidays (members ed.)

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September 30, 2005 - Julie Szmania, Co-Owner, Szmania, courtesy of American Express, "The Main Ingredient: Over 70 proven ways restaurateurs recruit, motivate, reward, and retain quality employees"

During the holidays each employee at Szmania receives a 25$ to 50$ gift certificate from a local grocery store. To make certificates more festive gifts, they are wrapped and placed in gift baskets that also contain a bottle of fine wine or sparkling cider and some of the specialty products the restaurant sells (i.e., house coffee and salad dressings). "Instead of giving someone a gift they might not like or need, we wanted to give a gift of universal appeal," says Julie Szmania, co-owner. Purchasing the certificates also benefits a local school that receives 1% to 2% of the certificates’ cash value.

"Employees not only value receiving something they can all use, but the fact that we are supporting out neighborhood," says Julie.

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