Gifts For Restaurant Peeps
Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Birthday!
Whatever the celebration is that calls for you to give a gift to someone who works in the restaurant industry, I have ideas for you.
We restaurant people are a special breed. We become quite familiar and fond of fine food and drink, our work hours are filled with quick thinking and lots of walking and shmoozing, and we’ve seen it all in terms of personalities and odd situations. Compare that to many of the other jobs out there and we are a totally separate kind of beast.
So what do you get the Server, Sommelier, Bartender, Manager or Food Runner in your life? How about…
(All headings are clickable links. If you purchase through a link, I do get a small kickback but it does NOT change your price.)
Dansko Shoes were designed for people who are on their feet, for hours, and hours, and months and years. My first pair lasted six years while working an average of five shifts per week, six hours per shift. Finally the toe wore out…six years later.
The up-front cost of Dansko shoes might be more than you may want to spend. But let’s do some math based on my experience.
52 weeks in a year, minus two for vacation leaves us with 50 weeks.
50 weeks x six hour shifts (30 hours per week minimum) = 1,500 hours
1,500 hours x 6 years = 9,000 hours
Average price of shoe is $130.00 / 9,000 hours = 1.5 penny an hour, or about a dime a shift.
Best for new-to-the-industry people or anyone who has never owned a proper pair of shoes that are actually meant for walking and standing…for a long time.
2. Shoe Insoles
So maybe you don’t want to spend a ton on the waitress, waiter or bartender in your life, but you still want them to have comfortable feet. No problem! While Shoe Insoles aren’t quite as wonderful as Danskos are, these will still help a pair of feet stay comfortable for the demanding job of waiting tables.
When you’re not in the industry you tend to be drawn to bulky, fancy wine openers. They’re cool, unless you need to open a million bottles of wine, then they’re just a pain in the ass. That’s why servers, bartenders and sommeliers use slender yet functional wine keys. They fit in a pocket and get the job done, quick!
This wine key is a beauty! When I close my eyes I can feel it in my hand. Cold. Perfectly weighted. Slender. It’s just waiting for a bottle of Screaming Eagle to be ordered. This wine key is for the person in your life who is a true restaurant professional. This exquisite wine key will be lost on those who don’t really get into wine. Save this gift for the elite professional who you love the shit out of.
Want to give a unique gift? Then the ah-so is what you should give. Most servers don’t know how to use them, but once introduced, it’s hard not to fall in love with.
Originally used by Butlers, the nickname “Butler’s friend” was bestowed on it because it is said that Butlers would use this crafty device to open their master’s excellent bottles of wine, drink them, replace the contents with the staff’s wine and insert the cork back into the neck. Because the ah-so doesn’t pierce the cork this could very well be a true tale.
When you have an aged bottle of wine with a finicky and crumbly cork, the ah-so saves the day or if you just want to impress your guests and co-workers, this is your jam.
What is better after a long restaurant shift than getting a massage? But what kind of reputable (non-happy-ending) masseuse is open when you are finished with your long double? Probably none, but you know what? It doesn’t matter because you can give yourself a quickie with one of my favorite massagers.
Just plug this bad boy in, choose the massage balls you want: soft, firm, heated, and dig into those back, foot and sore butt muscles. Ahhh.
Oh, big ass ice cube, how I love thee. There are few things sexier in the land of cocktails than having your favorite drink (one that calls for ice) served with one of these huge ice cubes. Esthetically pleasing, slow melting and hip as shit.
Gone can be the days when your drink is served with a million generic, fast melting ice cubes. In fact, many of the best restaurants in the world actually have an ice program…that’s how much some people hate small, crappy ice. If that is you or the person you are buying a gift for, these ice cube molds will be the ticket!
Ice is used for two reasons:
- to chill a drink
- to slowly dilute it.
But more often than not all you want from your ice cube is a chilled drink, not a drink that slowly turns into water. Enter: Whiskey Stones . Add these guys to your favorite Scotch, Bourbon, or Tequila and keep it cold and pure.
Tonic comes from the bark of the Chinchona tree. It creates a unique and pungent flavored drink, but most of the tonics that are used in restaurants are super artificial and pretty darn generic…which is fine…sometimes. But it’s not fine for your loved one. No way, Jose! Give them a special treat that no one else has introduced them to. A special gift for a special person from a special friend.
A few years back my (now ex) husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him, “Crest White Strips.” He said that was a crappy gift, not fun at all. Well I disagree. I totally disagree. What’s better than having white teeth? Especially when you smile at 2.3 million guests per day.
If you have someone in your life who cares about their appearance and they wouldn’t think this gift is too weird, then go for it!
I know. This gift is a little different, (well, maybe not after Crest White Strips it isn’t), but I think this is such a clever gift.
Men need razors, woman need razors and they’re all the fricken’ same except for the marketing tactics used, mainly the color handle. And they’re expensive. But these aren’t! You have a choice of razor type and how many cartridges are delivered to your door every month. Price? $3.00 to $9.00 and that includes delivery.
I don’t know about you but that gets me pretty stoked.
So there you have it. A list of 10 gift ideas for waiters, bartenders and all restaurant professionals. If you have a gift idea, please leave it in the comment section below!
I'm Jennifer and I would be honored to be your virtual restaurant consultant. I'm a real human, immersed in the industry, here to provide you with the most helpful ideas, information and products to make you more money and more successful.
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