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The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about a growing trend in restaurants - serving gourmet meals to staffers during off-hours.

"Countless staff meals are eaten by kitchen and front-of-the-house workers around New York City every day, but the tradition is taking on greater importance as restaurateurs and chefs increasingly see it as a way of setting the tone for service that day and keeping morale high among employees," the Journal writes. "Gone are the days of, as one restaurant veteran called it, 'gruel in the basement,' when a kitchen assistant would take scraps from the refrigerator and try to fashion something edible."

The story goes on: "The trend has evolved in the past few years for a variety of reasons, industry insiders say. Part of it is a reflection of the changing ethnic makeup inside many kitchens ... And as competition has heated up among chefs, the staff meal has become a testing ground for junior-level cooks looking to impress their bosses and move up the food-world ladder. They are encouraged to get creative, but they also must confront some of the time-honored challenges of the meal, which is typically prepared quickly and tends not to feature high-ticket items—part of the reason so many of the meals are built around chicken."
KC's View:
I wonder how many food retailers make a concerted effort to insure that the people who work there taste many of the products they sell? More of them should take a tip from these restaurants, which seem to understand the power of turning employees into informed advocates.