Foodservice workers across the country have been laid off in record numbers. In the past two weeks, 10 million people in the U.S. have applied for unemployment benefits, including many in the food services industry.
Yum Brands has closed 7,000 restaurants globally. Cheesecake Factory has furloughed 41,000 workers. Union Square Hospitality Group laid off 80% of its workers. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants furloughed 4,500 employees.
In an effort to offer support the wave of restaurant industry workers left suddenly without income, hospitality organizations, celebrities and suppliers have launched hundreds of funds to offer some relief.
Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality will update this list as more entries are submitted to us, but we have worked to only include organizations that are offering support to a broad audience, not just their own workers.
Many employers have launched funds for their own workers, which can be found at the company websites.
One note for gofundme campaigns listed here: There are credit card transaction fees, so the website asks users to donate additional money to cover those fees.
If you know of a relief fund not listed below, please send them to [email protected].
The Lee Initiative
The Restaurant Workers Relief Program was started by Chef Edward Lee to provide food, funds and supplies to out-of-work restaurant workers across the country in collaboration with Alon Shayla, Maker’s Mark and more.
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
The NRAEF in collaboration with Guy Fieri and others launched Restaurant Relief America where restaurant workers can apply for a one-time $500 check to use toward daily expenses (groceries, medical bills, etc.) and a grant by the NRAEF.
One Fair Wage
The nonprofit that advocates against sub-minimum wage for restaurant workers started the OFW Emergency Fund that will provide immediate cash assistance to restaurant employees, delivery drivers and others who are tipped in the industry.
Restaurant Opportunity Centers United
The ROC Disaster Relief Fund has a goal of raising $500,000 to help both documented and undocumented restaurant workers during the crisis.
Another Round, Another Rally
The group is distributing $500 grants to those who have lost their jobs or hours due to the pandemic and they are currently accepting donations to their fund.
Restaurant Strong Fund
Originally started in Sam Adams’ home state of Massachusetts, the fund expanded on April 3 to include 19 states where they are offering grants. Applications close April 30.
Go Tip Em
This virtual “tip jar” allows people to give tips in either $1, $2 or $5 to their favorite bartenders across the country through a list on the company website.
CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees fund helps food and beverage employees with children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have had a family member diagnosed.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
The Restaurant Workers COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund is distributing money to organizations helping those on the ground, providing zero-interest loans to businesses and providing funds for individual workers facing economic hardships because of the crisis.
James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Relief Fund is distributing micro-grants to independent businesses.
State or city specific:
California Restaurant Association Foundation’s Restaurant Care
United Hospitality and Dean Carras
Help Camberville Hospitality Workers
Relief for Our Friends in Hospitality
Emergency Funds for Boston Area Service Workers
Missouri Restaurant Association Workers Benefit Fund
St. Louis Hospitality Staff Members
NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund
Greater Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Mutual Aid
Tennessee Action for Hospitality’s A Fund for Us
United Way of Greater Nashville’s United We Win
Seattle Emergency Hospitality Fund
Charleston Hospitality Group’s initiative “Full Belly Full Hearts”
Charlottesville Restaurant Community Fund