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  • Writer's pictureSean Willard

Employee Retention: A Lesson From Rudy's BBQ - 10 Year Anniversary Gift

How do you keep great employees on your team?

For Rudy's BBQ, the answer is simple- give them a backpack filled with cash after ten years of service.

I had the opportunity to visit Rudy's original location in San Antonio, Texas in where I learned about their “10 years of service" celebration.

A new employee shared the story of this practice with me. "After ten years, they give you a bag of money because you've invested so much time here.”

I was also told about Angie.

Angie rang up my meal and drinks that evening in late September 2021. She was as sweet as can be; she’s a shining star of hospitality service- and she's been with the team since 1997. Angie has a plaque on the wall with her picture taken in 2007 at her 10 year celebration.

Menu Engineers, Menu Engineering, Rudy's BBQ
Sean of Menu Engineers with Angie and new team member at Rudy's BBQ

All 10+ year employees are honored with a similar plaque on the wall, and from my brief visit it was easy to see how admired it was by new staff to achieve that length of employment.

Restaurateurs and operators, you don't have to give a bag of cash. However, I would love to know… what do YOU do for your team to celebrate their time and contribution to your business?

Drop me a line at and let me hear about your employee retention methods and celebrations.


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Apr 15, 2023


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