That's something my husband says when he hears about someone's boss "rewarding" the team with bagels -n- cream cheese.
"Good worker," pat pat on the head. "Here's a treat my good good worker," rub behind the ears.
I think the food-as-reward technique is something that may at one time have been effective, but it's now just insulting. You know what motives me? Money. Respect. Fulfilling work.
I had a job not too long ago where someone was always bringing in some type of breakfast food and leaving it in the breakroom for everyone to pick at. As if a doughnut will improve morale. After lunch, however, the doughnut bringers would treat you to a verbal bitch-slapping for something that probably wasn't your fault in the first place.
I don't think this is really a generational issue. It's more of a changing workplace issue. Back in the day when girls were girls and men were men, the secretarial pool probably put on a mean potluck that was enjoyed by all the executives (men, of course, who weren't required to bring a dish to pass.) Today, the workplace potluck is something to try to get out of.
What are some better ways to reward employees? How about money? How about sending them home a couple hours early on a Friday? Oh, yeah, and my favorite: How about treating them like adults and respecting the talent they bring to the company?
There are a lot of great bosses who do it right. But I think we all have our stories of bad ones.