Florida company rewards workers with ‘Beer Cart Fridays’

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Employees at a Port Orange health-care staffing company are allowed to drink on the company’s tab, on company time, thanks to a perk known as “Beer Cart Fridays.”

“We put our corporate culture before profits, and when you do that, profits will follow,” said Advance Medical CEO Jennifer Fuicelli.

She’s been rolling out the beer cart for two years as part of an “unorthodox corporate culture” that rewards employees for hard work. Employees are restricted to one beer and are not allowed to drive while intoxicated. The goal isn’t to promote drinking but to let employees know they’re appreciated, which Fuicelli says is a small price that “pays huge dividends.”

She told the Daytona Beach News-Journal the company has a very low turnover rate.

The company also hosts costume days for Halloween, barbecues on the clock and a birthday “get out of jail free” card, for a paid day off.

It’s that corporate culture has helped the organization grow from four employees in Daytona Beach in 2005 to 350 employees with locations in Port Orange and Broomfield, Colo.

Economist Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, said businesses serving employees beer can help reduce employee turnover while also allowing colleagues to interact with each other on a different level.

“There may also be a team-building element ... you have different interactions with people when you’re at a table having a beer rather than conference table,” he said.