Jan 28, 2021 9:11:05 AM | 5 Min Read

Driving Our Culture While Supporting Local

Posted By Bay Cities
Driving Our Culture While Supporting Local

We had an issue to deal with this holiday season. Every Christmas we have a dinner with our Sales Team to celebrate their successes and hang out together. This is a time to tell great stories about the account that got away and the giant whopper that we landed, or how great of a job we did getting programs to market. We love big tales in Sales! This year kind of posed a few challenges for us. As one could easily guess, a pesky virus got in the way of our Christmas dinner. We decided to figure out a way to still have it and bring about that togetherness we all miss. At the same time, we were looking to support a local restaurant, that we knew would do a great job in supplying our hungry team with great food. It would have been very easy for us to go buy everyone a gift card from a large chain, but that is not our style at the Bay. Instead, we came up with something a bit unique.

We matched up with Mama Terano in Rolling Hills, California, and Chef Robert Bell to create a fantastic dinner that we could mail to everyone. Robert had never done something like this before. His creative spirit and unmatched creativity for food had to be met as well. He first called out a size carton he would need to fit two dinners in in order to cut down on expenses and get a couple an unforgettable dinner. Chef Bell ran a trial and cooked up two dinners and packed them. He had to make sure that the dinners would remain at 45 degrees for over 48 hours. In this way, we would have a safe meal delivered to our hungry Salespeople. Chef Robert Bell focused on Beef Ribs with Vegetables, Polenta and Olive Oil Cake. He gave it a try and bingo; he mastered the production and the holding of the temperature in the first go around. We knew at this point we could make this thing happen.

What’s next? Well, we also wanted to add champagne and red wine to complement the food and the experience. We got those ordered and packaged up. The weather was cool enough that we could easily ship the combination out. Robert got to work on the food, and Bay Cities knocked out a bunch of two packs and master cases. We shipped dinners to our office in Bentonville Arkansas, to our offices in LA and one two pack even went to Texas for our lone salesperson there. For our vegetarians, we come up with an alternative at the last minute and Chef Bell substituted the Beef Ribs with Eggplant Parmesan. We didn’t miss a beat! We got the meals out two days prior to the special night. The wine was already received at all locations earlier in the week. The Sales folks showed up at the different offices to pick up their meals and got ready for the special night.

Now we had to think about the fun part. Our VP of Sales arranged a Trivia game and a Treasure Hunt. We timed the dinners for 5 PM in LA and 7 PM in the Midwest. Off we went to our first virtual Christmas Dinner. It was great! Chef Robert Bell and Mama Terano hit the ball out of the park. The Olive Oil Cake was awesome as was the champagne and wine. We all somewhat ate and drank together, and we caught up with each other. Many challenges were set for a bunch of strange things only this group could come up with! The Trivia and Treasure Hunt really kept everyone focused and in tune with each of the games. The evening went off without a hitch.

There were many calls, texts and emails about how successful and fun the evening was. It just proves that doing something different, supporting a local restaurant and bonding together in a very tough and tense time can be accomplished when you put your mind to it. A special shout out goes to Chef Robert Bell and his team at Mama Terano for making this a reality and to all our Sales team and their significant others for putting up with our hooligans.

What a great time!

Wear your mask, wash your hands and keep it separated!

Greg Tucker



Topics: Creativity, Packaging, Safety

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