The Hull — South Shore small business employees got a big holiday surprise. Toast in Hull owner takes all employees to Disney World.
Jessica Travis said it was her way of thanking them for their hard work during the pandemic.
“I survived Covid because of my employees,” Travis said.
Toast is a breakfast and lunch restaurant by the sea in Hull.
As restaurants struggle to hire and retain employees, Travis said it’s important to make them feel appreciated.
“I feel like if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you too. My customers feel great,” Travis said.
“She treats us like family every day and treats us like her own children,” said employee Caitlin Ryan.
Travis purchased Toast just months before the pandemic hit. She lost all her staff and wasn’t sure if she would stay in business. That’s when she pivoted to take-out ordering and hired a new person who’s been with her ever since.
“For the past three years, they have stuck with me, devoting themselves solely to making Toast what it is today,” says Travis. “So I had the idea that there was a better way than giving Universal Studios and Disney a week’s reward.”
Just before Christmas, she assembled a team to put together a 30-piece puzzle. “It’s amazing to see all of us going to Walt Disney World,” said employee Sean Larry..
“It was a bit of a shock. At first I thought it was a joke,” said employee Stevie Ryan.
In May of this year, a total of 27 employees, including their families, will take a seven-day, all-paid trip to Disney.
Travis said the trip might mean more to her than the person she invited. Her mother died a few years ago and she left her some money. She was waiting for just the right opportunity to do something special with it.
“She would look down on me and I was waiting for her to do something that would be like, ‘Now that’s what I wanted to spend the money on.’ That’s what I do.” That’s it.”
Her employees also learned valuable lessons early in their careers. “I think having a really good team behind you makes all the difference,” said employee Catalina Speer..
And that’s what we toast to 2023.