Sunbelt Motivation & Travel, Inc. was faced with the challenge of creating a dining experience that would capture the uniqueness in sales vs. MVP accomplishments and provide an opportunity for regional recognition. Traditionally, the trip included a dine-around evening that allowed individuals to select a preferred restaurant to dine with their friends, which usually consisted of people from the same region, and an awards dinner that was rated as too long and not interactive. Sunbelt needed to come up with an activity that addressed all of these factors and encouraged participation from guests from around the world. The solution Ė regional cook-offs.
Working with Citrix to meet their teambuilding and entertainment objectives, Sunbelt created a dining experience that was carefully crafted to ensure that all attendees had fun, worked together as teams, and enjoyed great cuisine. With the help of 35 food and beverage staff members at the Hilton Waikoloa in Hawaii, each geographical region had its own cook-off.
Categorized by the color and pattern of their aprons, guests were randomly broken into approximately 20-person teams that worked with hotel chefs and judges to compete for the highest scores in food preparation, presentation, and team spirit and enthusiasm.
Upon arrival at the cooking areas, regional executives recognized the special achievements of the MVPs. This was accomplished with the most appropriate audience and allowed sufficient time to speak of each individualís accomplishments while allowing peers to add comments on a casual basis. It was a more personal experience that the big awards dinner that was previously held.
Once the ceremony was complete, the cook-off began. Team captains were selected to help encourage creativity and help motivate their team to victory. Food was made ready by the kitchen to save time and was brought to the Presidentís Club 2001 participants for final cooking, preparation and serving under the guidance of their team chef. With a DJ helping to build excitement ó karoke, dancing, and team cheers were encouraged as each team prepared and dined on fabulous appetizers, entrees and desserts.
Winners were awarded based on a point system. Team captains received trophies and team members were given ribbons.