Restaurant Relief Fund Aims to Support Workers
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is leading a nationwide fundraising drive for the Restaurant Relief America campaign.
Full-service restaurant transactions declined by 71 percent for the week ending March 22, while in the QSR segment—despite having more off-premises business—that decrease was 34 percent compared to a year ago. These are latest numbers from research firm NPD Group and they’re a harsh but not unexpected result of mandated restaurant dining room closures across the country.
According to NPD’s restaurant location database, ReCount, about 94 percent of U.S. restaurants are under some level of restrictions, with most prohibiting on-premises service. Faced with layoffs and reduced hours, restaurant workers are in need of financial assistance, prompting the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to create a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. With support from celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who is leading a nationwide fundraising drive with his Restaurant Relief America campaign, and a collection of founding partners, 100 percent of funds raised will go to impacted restaurant workers.
“Early estimates indicate that as many as 5 to 7 million restaurant workers may lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis, and many already have,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “In the face of this pandemic, we are asking the nation to join us in protecting vulnerable restaurant workers through your generous financial support.”
Starting April 2, impacted restaurant workers will be able to apply online for a one-time, $500 check to use toward housing, transportation, utilities, child care, groceries, medical bills and/or student loans. The grants will be administered by the NRAEF and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fieri, the chef and restaurateur known for “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” said he’s spent his entire career in restaurants, “from bussing tables to flambé captain to dishwasher to chef.”
“I’ve also spent the better part of the last 15 years traveling this great country meeting other folks who’ve dedicated their lives to this business, and let me tell you something, they are the hardest working, most real deal workers you’ve ever met … the heartbeats of their communities,” he said in an announcement of the fund. “But they need our help, and with Restaurant Relief America, we can serve up some support when these restaurant employees need it most … right now."
Donate online at rerf.us
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund Founding Partners
Moët Hennessy USA
Boston Beer Company
The Elliot Group
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP