‘We were just shocked’: Belfast restaurant servers receive $1,000 tip
A number of local restaurants are finding themselves on the receiving end of generosity.
BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - Servers at a Belfast restaurant got quite the surprise recently.
A man came in and tipped big – really big!
“It’s just a nice way to give back without expecting anything in return,” said Daryle Degen, owner of Maine Cater.
A number of local restaurants are finding themselves on the receiving end of that generosity.
It’s thanks to Maine Cater - a recruiting company for food and beverage in New England.
For four years, Daryle and Orianna Degen have been heading the company.
New this year - a job board where employers can post open positions.
They’ve also started a ‘Giving Back’ fund where they share their wealth with cash giveaways.
Dockside Family Restaurant in Belfast is just one of the happy recipients.
“COVID-19 decimated the hospitality industry and a lot of people were struggling and we already had a platform available for our job board and for employers to pay to post jobs so we thought we might as well allocate the funds from that to give back to hardworking hospitality workers,” said Degen.
The skeleton crew at the restaurant was having lunch on April 23rd. That’s when Daryle walked in with a $1,000 tip.
“We were just shocked,” said server, Cheyenne Dyer. “We didn’t know what was going on. We didn’t know if it was a joke or not.”
“We were just so touched by these people and to acknowledge that this industry got hit really hard and for us to continue doing what we’re doing, and still smiling and trying to be happy and make everyone happy, it was very humbling,” said server of 20 years, Darlene Ginn.
Cheyenne Dyer and Darlene Ginn have spent a combined 27 years here.
The owners of this family restaurant say they and the rest of their servers have kept the place running during the pandemic.
“People recognize that we do try really hard and some days we might not meet people’s expectations, but we get up every day and that’s the goal.”
As for Orianna and Daryle, they, too, know that feeling.
They met working a restaurant in Camden.
So far, they’ve given out more than $12,000. They plan to keep going as long as they can.
“We know what it’s like and that it’s really hard work, said Orianna. “Sometimes you have nice customers, but a lot of the times it’s like a thankless position and so, it feels really good to be able to give back knowing how hard everyone works in this industry.”
After the interview, Daryle and Orianna ended lunch at the restaurant and delivered the staff another $1,000 tip.
They say that money came from them directly and not from the fund account.
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