Maine Cater shares the wealth with cash giveaways to six restaurants

Dockside Restaurant in Belfast is surprised with a $1,000 cash tip

Mon, 05/17/2021 - 11:45am

BELFAST—Back in December, we wrote a story on Maine Cater, the hospitality company dedicated to serving New England’s food and beverage industry. Husband-and-wife team, Daryle and Orianna Degen were behind the operation to provide restaurants with temporary or full-time employees—sort of an industry-specific

One of Maine Cater’s goals was to give back to those in the industry with a Worker Fund—a pool of money that’s generated from employer-paid job listings on Maine Cater’s site.

With scores of restaurants looking for front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house employees this spring, the website has amassed hundreds of paid job listings, the majority of which are in Maine. And that has translated into a giving spree that Daryle Degen went on in April.

“The Worker Fund account got up to a little more than $3,000, so we decided to match it with our own funds to give away,” said Daryle.

The way it works is they use an online generator to determine the winners of the Worker Fund tips, so it’s fair to everyone. Then, they set up a poll on their social media channels to ask their followers to help determine how the amounts should be parceled out.

“It’s not as though we pick favorites; the giveaways are completely random,” said Daryle. “We leave it up to the restaurant how to divide it up between all of the employees.”

Maine Restaurants That Benefited

  • Hot Suppa in Portland — $500 and $150 in staff drinks
  • Run of the Mill in Saco — $500
  • Bucks Naked BBQ in Freeport—$500
  • Cook’s Lobster & Ale House in Bailey’s Island — $3,000 for the BOH
  • King Eider’s Pub in Damariscotta — $500
  • Dockside Restaurant in Belfast — $1,000 tip

The best part is being able to walk into a restaurant and hand over the money.

“They have no idea,” said Daryle.

For Dockside Restaurant, a family-owned business in Belfast, it was more than just a surprise the day Daryle walked in.

“We were all sitting there at the bar when he walked in; we thought we were getting punked,” said Darlene Ginn, an employee of the restaurant for the last 20 years. “We’re a very small staff and we were so appreciative to see this ... It was so rewarding.”

“We’re were really touched,” said co-owner Lisa Mosher. “I’m just really happy they were able to choose my staff. These girls who have held the front end together with all of the hassles of COVID-19 that restaurant staff have to go through—we’re all trying to work our way through this.”

As Mosher stated when they posted the event on Facebook: “To say that we were surprised is an understatement. What an incredible gesture that we were all a part of today. Our community is the best and we could not be more thankful.”

It actually made us all kind of teary-eyed,” said Mosher. “There are very kind people in this world still; it really highlighted how awesome the people at Maine Cater are.”

Maine Cater continues to spread the joy and goodwill with every new employee-paid job listing.

“We say to the restaurant industry, look, we don’t have the high traffic that Indeed or Craigslist does, but we’re getting there while simultaneously re-investing your funds right back into the industry,” said Daryle. “So if you support us, we will support you right back. We’re serious; we’re putting our own money into matching those funds. It’s all about supporting each other during these hard times.”

Find out what else they do at

Kay Stephens can be reached at