Restaurant industry icon Guy Fieri has joined the ranks of Anthony O’Shaughnessy, using his talent for cooking and his leverage as a renowned chef to help those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Fieri joined with the National Restaurant Association to create the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which helps restaurant industry employees who are struggling during this national pandemic.
The fund offers aid and grants to those who have been impacted by way of decreased wages or losing their jib. On May 15th, on Food Network’s Facebook page, Fieri and Bill Murray participated in a cooking contest titled “Nacho Average Showdown” to promote the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.
The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic due to restrictions regarding restaurant operations at a national level. Many restauranteurs have been faced with the decision to close their doors for good, hence displacing employees who rely on their jobs in restaurants.
Noticing this relevant and destructive reality, Fieri decided he would use his platform to aid in the relief effort for many of these individuals who cannot stay afloat without their job in the foodservice industry.
On his Instagram page, Fieri posts regularly to advertise for the relief foundation. He regards restaurant employees in America as the “hardest working, most real deal employees you’ll ever meet”.
The grants provided by the foundation generally award $500 to applicants on a first come, first served basis. They have been aiding employees of restaurants since April 2nd. Fieri has been committed to small businesses in America since his hit television series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Fieri has been quoted referencing his time with the show reflecting the true commitment and hustle of restaurant employees in America. This is another reason he felt inclined to help aid toward relief in this time of nationwide struggle.
With the help of Fieri, the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund has raised over $22 million dollars to aid these restaurant employees. He received support from Uber Eats, PepsiCo, TikTok, and Coca-Cola by reaching out to them himself.
With restaurant employees taking up much of the labor force in the United States, Fieri is aware of the potential consequences, and is doing what he can to make a difference.