Food Tours Create Natural Team Building
Our Team Building Process
Why do food tours create natural team building? It’s simple. People bond easily over food. Connections and communication are fostered. Add in a little challenge and collaboration also rises in the group without effort.
At Alberta Food Tours, we’ve found that as office teams are coming back together after the isolation of the pandemic, some of the original ease of communication your team may have had might be strained. Our charming guides know how to get conversation rolling with icebreaker topics that are interesting. People are interested in each others stories and they remember them and connect over them later.
Our “missions” for the teams usually involve discovering the people and business owners in a neighbourhood. We divide groups randomly and there’s a sense of fun and excitement as the randomness turns into solidification of teams. Our guides are great at claiming “their” people. There’s a release of insecurities as everyone is in the same boat. New teams gel. Everyone sets out on their mission to discover the neighbourhood. Each guide’s style is different and each guest, each team, will take away different experiences of what stories or tastings they liked best.
The places we tour are loaded with examples of neighbourliness, collaboration, excellence and the mutual success this brings to their business district. Our guides highlight these stories at each tasting stop. At the end, the members of each group share what was the most fun and what surprised and delighted them.
Team Building Outcomes
We’ve found there are several takeaways:
- While everyone had the same tour/experience, their individual and group experience of it was different. This is an effective lesson in being sure to research something from many angles when trying to understand a subject or market.
- Experiences are influenced by the leadership that emerges, the interactions that take place, and the receptivity and participation of the group. Easy take home: you get out of something, what you put into it. The attitude you bring as an individual influences the group and your own experience greatly.
- Groups have a common bond of experiencing the discovery of stories, food, beverages, businesses, and the power of collaboration. This is powerful because the creation of this shared positive memory facilitates bringing groups together again with ease.
- Business groups are inspired by the degree of collaboration they witness and by the novel food businesses they visit. Inspiration comes from many sources but the one of the greatest is the passion and success of small business owner/entrepreneurs.
Small Team Case Study
We had one group do three different food experiences with us, three years in a row. The first year, the team, who all commuted to a downtown office from the suburbs and rarely left their desk for lunch, was unsure of what their leader had signed them up for. They did not consider themselves adventurous when it came to food or life. But, they had a base level of respect for each other and their leader so they decided to go for it. As the tour they chose involved learning about art and tasting food while walking around the neighbourhood near their office, they started to blossom with each “discovery” they made. They had an increased sense of pride in our city. They had a sense of unexpected delight. They reported going out for lunch to the favourite tour stops and telling others about what they had done. They began asking their leader if they could do a different offering with our company the following year. They surprised themselves greatly that our tour opened them all so significantly. They became appreciators and they also joked that they always had something to talk about at the water cooler.
Large Team Case Study
For another company, we arranged a large luncheon for 72 people all at one restaurant. This group was engineers and geologists with a few accountants in the mix. They were about a third women and two-thirds men. And, they were just coming back to the office after two year apart. When they sat at tables, it was very quiet. Our team quickly circulated with ice breakers to get them all chatting. The noise level in the room rose and laughter began (our topics are NOT that serious and induce a lot of fun stories). We then divided the group into four with four of our team leading them around the neighbourhood for a variety of tastings and activities. We met at the end and the transformation was phenomenal. So much laughter. So many smiles. The department head who hired us was over the moon.
We have almost two decades of creating team building and group incentive experiences. Contact us at [email protected] for more information on how we can help plan your experience.