Local restaurants have had to get creative and make a lot of changes to the way they serve customers these days.

Local restaurants have had to get creative and make a lot of changes to the way they serve customers these days.

Those that are offering curbside or delivery service have been able to keep some staff on hand but tipped employees are experiencing a decrease in wages. 
While many Lake area restaurants are doing what they can to keep staff working, Baxter’s Lakeside Grill has taken it one step farther. They’ve opened a commissary for staff so the majority of their families’ food needs are being met for free.

Owner Ted Geiger said when talk of changes to in-restaurant dining regulations began taking place prior to Camden County’s state of emergency declaration last week, he knew the changes would be necessary for public health, but that they would take a toll on Baxter’s employees. 

“My main concern was that they are taken care of and we stay a team,” he said. 

To keep everyone busy, Baxter’s started by offering carry-out and delivery seven days a week as well as assigning tasks to staff such as cleaning, organizing and other projects around the restaurant. Although employees are still working and getting a paycheck, tipped employees are struggling so Geiger decided to open up the kitchen as a commissary to help relieve some of their burden.

To help employees take care of their families and to keep them out of the general public as much as possible (in support of social distancing), employees are allowed to order what they need at the restaurant, including things like white bread, milk and eggs. These grocery staples are not normally found at Baxter’s, but the restaurant has expanded its order from their food supplier to support staff and their families.

Since starting the commissary for their employees, Baxter’s has also expanded to sell and deliver these staples to their customers, so they may receive fresh food and meat to prepare at home.
 Geiger said they intend to keep employees working, but just like everyone else they are struggling with these unexpected changes. Every delivery and to-go order matters.