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Restaurant Gift Guide 2019: 40 Gifts For Every Restaurant Employee on Your List


Chelsea VerstegenAuthor

Christmas is fast approaching, and we want to help you get your favorite restaurant worker the perfect gift. Whether you’re buying a gift for someone that needs a break from “sleighing” in the kitchen, or you work in a restaurant and are shopping for your boss or employees, here are the 40 best gifts for anyone in the restaurant industry. 

The One Gift On Every Restaurateurs Wish List This Year: Toast Go

Gifts for relaxing

The restaurant industry is stressful all year long, but the holidays bring extra chaos. Help your restaurant worker unwind with one of these relaxing gifts. 

1. Acupressure Body Strap $30

After spending all day (and often, most of the night) on their feet, restaurant workers need to give their bodies some extra TLC. Get that special someone an acupressure body strap. They can strap it on to their lower back or neck before or after their shift to soothe away the stresses of a long day. 

2. Bath Bomb $8

What better way to destress than a bubble bath? These Lush Bath Bombs fizz up and turn any bath into an aromatic, rainbow-colored spa.

3. At-Home Spa Package $55

Let your restaurateur's next day off be as luxurious as going to the spa. An at-home spa kit — complete with lotions, soap, bath salts, and slippers — transforms any day into a self-care sanctuary. 

4. Streaming Service $5-9/month

If binge-watching your favorite show doesn’t put you in a good mood, I don’t know what will. Gift a subscription to a streaming service, and since there are plenty of options, like Disney+, Netflix, or Hulu, you can pick one that suits your restaurant worker’s preferences. 

5. Essential Oil Diffuser $40

Essential oil diffusers make your at-home environment feel like a mini spa. This kit doubles as a humidifier and comes with 10 essential oils to choose from to make an entire room smell great. Each oil has different wellness benefits, so your loved one can customize their relaxation experience to suit their desires.

6. Tablet Stand $40

Your restaurant worker can curl up in bed and watch movies from their tablet hands-free with this tablet stand that's perfect for uneven surfaces. 

7. Tea Press $18

This simple tea press is aesthetically pleasing and an easy way to make loose leaf tea in no time. 

8. Waiter Rant Book $9

Sometimes laughter is the best medicine for a hard day. The author of Waiter Rant recounts the most outrageous customers they ever served. This book will really hit home for anyone who’s ever worked FOH.

9. Foot Spa $60

Just like the acupressure strap, this gift helps restaurant workers take a load off. Give them an at-home foot spa (and maybe throw in some essential oils as a bonus).

10. Unisex Slippers $20

Speaking of tired feet — these slippers will make anyone feel like they are walking on a cloud. That special someone will slip their feet into these memory foam shoes and experience immediate and utter bliss.

Gifts for a chef

There’s always a new kitchen gadget to get your chef, even when it seems like they’ve got it all. While a cookbook is always a safe bet, here are some less conventional options.

11. Sous Vide Precision Cooker $85

This device cooks everything — from fish and prime rib to eggs and custards — to the exact right temperature using only water and heat-safe plastic bags. 

12. Automatic Pot Stirrer $20

For the multitasking chef (which is probably every chef!), there’s the automatic pot stirrer. It’s like having an extra hand in the kitchen. It helps prevent the bottom of a bubbling pot of sauce from burning and ruining the batch.

13. Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner $16

You may be surprised to know that cast irons don’t have to be that hard to clean. Your chef can use this stainless steel cast iron cleaner to scrub away all the junk that’s caked on to their cast iron skillet while keeping the integrity of the dish.

Dude you need to get yourself a cast iron skillet. its the exact same as other pans but way heavier and more expensive and you can't ever clean it for some reason

— wife radicalized by STEM (@gloomfather) November 21, 2019

14. Compost Bin $24

Anyone that cooks often could use a compost bin, especially if they’re growing their own plants or herbs in the garden. This bin can be used to discard food scraps like banana peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds to later be transferred to an outdoor composting area that turns into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner.

15. Wine Pairing Towel Set $28

These kitchen towels recommend wine for any type of meal. The towels have lists of 68 popular wines and 56 different foods, for a total of 3,808 possible combinations.

16. Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet $50

Literally just a bouquet of salami. 😍

17. Custom Face Oven Mitt $19

For the chef with a sense of humor, purchase an oven mitt with their face on it. This will be a great conversation starter for the next dinner party they host.

18. Tong Hands $9

A four pack of cute tong hands that will make cooking in a home kitchen that much more enjoyable. 

19. Mandoline Slicer $35

This slicer cuts any fruit or vegetable you can imagine with extreme precision. With four different blades and safe-guard barriers, slicing and dicing just got a whole lot easier.

20. 3-Sided Splatter Guard $7

Give your chef a splatter guard that protects against bubbling sauce or bacon grease, eliminating the mess or pain.


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Gifts for your boss

If you work in a restaurant and want to get something nice for your favorite boss, look no further! 

21. Business Card Case $27

This sleek customizable card case is small enough to fit in a pants pocket, but can also be tossed in an apron pocket for busy nights around the restaurant.

22. Stress Ball $12

A stress ball for when the restaurant is short-staffed, a cook just spilled a 4L cambro of tomato sauce everywhere, or when anything else goes wrong.

23. Mood Blocks $35

Get your boss some mood blocks that allow them to express their emotions without saying a word — especially handy for days when you think it best not to ask “How’s it going?”

24. Mug Warmer $11

When your boss is running around each morning, chances are they are also drinking lukewarm coffee. Give them a mug warmer to make sure they have a hot cup of joe all shift long.

25. World’s Best Boss Mug $14

And to go atop that mug warmer… the classic “World’s Best Boss” mug, as seen on The Office.

26. French Fries Tie Clip $16 or French Fry Earrings $9

If you work in a fast casual restaurant, the fry tie clip or fry earrings will be a real crowd pleaser.

27. Restaurant Gift Card

Sometimes, your boss may want to eat somewhere else (shocking, I know). Pick up a gift card to the new restaurant they’ve been dying to try — just make sure it’s not a direct competitor.

28. Out of Office Sleep Mask $11

This funny sleep mask will give your boss a good chuckle, and hopefully a great nap.

29. Cable Clips $6

Assuming the back office in your restaurant is about the size of a coat closet, it’s probably pretty easy for your manager to misplace cords. Help them stay organized with these handy cord clips

30. Joke of the Day Calendar $9

Give the gift that keeps on giving — a ton of hilarious jokes that your boss can tell the whole staff. This daily tear-away calendar will leave everyone giggling.

Gifts for your employees

If you’re the manager or owner and looking to get gifts for your employees, you’ll probably want to go with something relatively inexpensive. These gifts are all under $5 to make sure you don’t break the bank while still showing your staff you care! 

31. Succulents $1 (20 for $20)

Give your staff a plant that they will love and care for. The best part is succulents are easy to take care of, as they need very little water and sunlight, so keeping these little guys alive is a breeze.

32. Starbucks Gift Card $5

Buying your staff a coffee gift card for Christmas is easy, inexpensive, and pretty ideal as odds are there’s a Starbucks close to your restaurant, which makes for easy utilization of their gift.

33. Alphabet Mug $5

These alphabet coffee mugs are personal, adorable, and reasonably priced. 

34. Christmas Ornament $1 ($9 for 12) 

Your employees will love this precious keepsake that they’ll be able to look back at fondly. Consider doing a different ornament every year so your long-time employees can grow their collection.

35. Holiday Socks $2 ($22 for 12)

Start a new crazy sock day tradition! Give your staff a pair of holiday socks, and proclaim a crazy sock day in December where you can all match.

36. Candle $4

These mini candles pack a fragrant punch.

37. Lottery Tickets $1-$5

Lottery tickets are simple, cheap, and your potential return on investment could be major. 🤑 

38. Herb Seeds $1 ($12 for 12)

Give your staff a packet of culinary herb seeds so they can grow their own herbs at home. 

39. Redbox Movie $2 (20 for $35)

Sponsor your staff’s next movie night with a redbox promo code. Write down the code for each employee inside a nice Christmas card and they can claim one redbox movie! 

40. Handmade Soap $5

Working in a restaurant can get pretty messy, so give your employees some soap with a message like “Just soap’n you have a Merry Christmas!” Bonus: these moisturizing and exfoliating soaps smell amazing, are all-natural, and don’t test on animals. 

That’s all folks! Hopefully you can check all the names off your list with these Christmas gift suggestions.

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