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Anchorage restaurant giving employees 100% of curbside sales during hunker down mandate

Bear Paw Bar and Grill lead bartender, Bree Echevarria completing a curbside order at the...
Bear Paw Bar and Grill lead bartender, Bree Echevarria completing a curbside order at the restaurant.(Taylor Clark)
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 1:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The 2020 Holiday Season is going to be a hard one during the pandemic for a lot of people. As many are either out of work or limited by restrictions, a lot are scaling back their celebrations this year. Recognizing that their employees are struggling, Bear Paw Bar and Grill is giving back to their employees in the form of financial support.

Until they are open for dine-in services once again, the owners at the restaurant have decided that 100% of the money from curbside sales will go straight back to their employees. In the meantime, the owners are covering the overhead costs themselves.

It’s something that people like Bree Echevarria are grateful for. She recalled how she felt when she got the call about the first hunker-down order, which was on the day Bear Paw opened for business.

“The first thing that popped in my head was the financial side of it. Being a single mom, I support me and my son,” Echevarria said. “I’ve been able to get by, but pretty much just by.”

Echevarria is the lead bartender at the restaurant. Although she’s at home behind the bar, she’s been spending most of her time at work running between the front and back of the house. All the while taking orders over the phone and bringing them out to customers in their cars.

Echevarria has also been grateful to those people. She said she’s noticed some faces becoming more familiar as time goes on during the pandemic. And the closer we get to Christmas, she said the more large tips she’s been getting from those people.

Gregg Volmer is one such customer who said the move to give the employees all the curbside money was “good management.”

“You got to keep your people paid,” Volmer said.

While she knows that Christmas will still be scaled back at her house, Echevarria said she also knows she’s better off now because of the support she’s getting at work.

“That means a ton to me. I’ve worked for many employers that really don’t care,” she said, “things could have gone a lot worse for me, so it’s something that I definitely don’t take for granted.”

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