Alright folks, it’s that time of year again where our employers throw us end-of-season appreciation parties and we get to celebrate like we’ve never seen an open bar before. Woo-hoo! The end of summer/fall party is always way more upbeat than the end of winter party because summer was inevitably rockin’ and our bosses have tons of money to lavish on us, unlike the often mellower, snow-dependent winter seasons of late.
Does it take a party to make most of you feel properly appreciated? Inherently, service industry folk tend to be social creatures of the night(life) anyway. None of us really requires a reason to go out and have a good time—it’s the story of our lives and the reason many of us moved to town in the first place. So when your boss is the one throwing the party, why is it that much sweeter?
For me, the appeal of the employee party is the idea of the entire staff hanging out and celebrating the end of another amazing season without the distraction of outsiders for one night. It’s one evening where front of house and back of house spend quality time together, the boss gets to hang with the staff in a strictly social setting, and the staff spends time together and bonds more than their usual grab-a-shift-drink-and-run.
I’ve heard of various perks around town by different employers. Some servers get to dine in their own restaurant for a free dinner for two when the season is going superbly well, so they get to enjoy firsthand what they’ve been serving up all summer. Others are thrown a party or big group dinner out in a restaurant other than their own. I’ve heard the Elk’s Lodge for bowling and open bar is a popular party spot that everyone enjoys. I once heard of a party bus to the haunted house in Tetonia being an end-of-season party. Some servers get seasonal cash bonuses, and others simply get to bring home a bottle of booze.
Occasionally, restaurants try and show appreciation to their staff on a more regular basis by taking requests for the pre-shift family meal or buying a post-shift meal on particularly hectic nights. Every local’s favorite Italian restaurant (pre-2008) and often-romanticized Old Yellowstone Garage was known for making the staff a number of their deliciously famous wood-oven pizza pies at the end of each and every night.
From what I’ve heard, The Snake River Brewery throws the best party around Jackson. I don’t know much about it since I’ve never been, but I’m pretty sure it involves an overnight getaway to somewhere outside of town, and they are awesome enough to invite a number of their loyal regulars in addition to their staff. I’ll proudly consider myself “made” when I get an invite to that one.
How does your employer show that they appreciate you on a regular or seasonal basis? Do you have the scoop on any other parties given around town? I’d love to hear about creative and thoughtful gestures bestowed upon the hard-working service staff here in Jackson Hole. Maybe it can help inspire the bosses of those less fortunate. Please share your thoughts with Dishing if you know of any perks I haven’t mentioned, and if you have any insider info on how I can get an invite to the next Brewpub party, please don’t be shy.