OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s an extremely difficult time for members of the service industry with many businesses and restaurants forced to make tough decisions and lay off staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, some are getting creative to support their community.
“We desperately need help but as we like to say, when life gives you lemons – drink whiskey,” said Robb Lindsey, managing partner of Whiskey Cake.
At Whiskey Cake, they’re taking that motto to heart.
They’ve transformed their restaurant to a curbside delivery grocery store, selling a variety of “survival kits” with toilet paper and local foods.
“You’ll see beef from A Bar N which is a local Wagyu ranch, you’ll see honey grits, beef, chicken pork, kind of all your staples – eggs, milk, butter, and all of those from as many local sources as we can,” said concept chef Aaron Staudenmaier.
Whiskey Cake by Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City is a part of an eight-restaurant national chain with locations also in Texas and Florida.
Each location was already farm-to-table before the pandemic.
Now, they’re supporting local farmers.
“If restaurants shut down then so does the entire supply chain, then all the sudden there are millions of people that are trying to figure out how to get through that,” Staudenmaier said.
This idea started with a chef in Houston when to-go sales weren’t working out.
The only staff remaining here in Oklahoma City is a small team of salaried managers.
All tips received in their drive-thru service go to their furloughed hourly employees.
“We are trying desperately to help them as best we can so we appreciate the community’s support,” Lindsey said. “It’s been phenomenal thus far.”
The community can do that by pulling up and having groceries delivered straight to their car door.
The hope is that when the all clear is given they can return to business as usual.
But for now, they’re doing everything they can to support everyone impacted.
“Right now it’s not about getting rich, for us. It’s about taking care of families, making sure that communities have safe, reliable food sources,” said Staudenmaier.
Survival kits are $45 each. Wine and beer can be purchased separately.
For details on drive-thru times, contents and more visit Whiskey Cake’s Facebook page.