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Lead Buzz 06/05

Bonding in the kitchen, losing vacation days and more

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This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As health-care costs have risen, 401(k) employer contributions have fallen and other perks have become more expensive, entrepreneurs have searched for inexpensive ways to boost staff morale. Now, some companies have found a way--in the kitchen. Polly Talbott, 54, owner and director of A la Carte Culinary Services Ltd. in Long Island, New York, says the number of companies coming to her for employee cooking classes has risen sharply in the past five years. "People are realizing the corporate benefits of classes," Talbott says.

Talbott's experience isn't unique. The famed Institute of Culinary Education in New York City has reported a 30 percent increase in corporate bookings over the past two years, and several other culinary institutes are developing corporate programs.

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