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To kick-off the inaugural National Restaurant Workers Day, BentoBox is launching a partnership with Shepherd's Southern Smoke Foundation, a non-profit, crisis-relief organization for food and beverage workers.

BentoBox partners with award-winning chef Chris Shepherd to announce Inaugural National Restaurant Workers Day, honoring and supporting restaurant workers

As industry advocates, Shepherd and BentoBox call on diners to celebrate restaurant workers through a series of partnerships and educational initiatives this holiday season

BentoBox, the restaurant technology company that partners with over 14,000 restaurants worldwide, and James Beard award-winning Chef Chris Shepherd today announced the first-ever National Restaurant Workers Day, commencing on December 14th, where diners will be inspired and encouraged to honor, support and appreciate restaurant workers across the country this holiday season.

Over the past two years, restaurant workers faced unprecedented challenges. Since the onset of inflation, BentoBox found that diners are tipping 21% less on online orders. As rising costs and economic pressures increasingly impact consumer spending habits this holiday season, it's essential for communities to support local restaurant workers.

To kick-off the inaugural National Restaurant Workers Day, BentoBox is launching a partnership with Shepherd's Southern Smoke Foundation, a non-profit, crisis-relief organization for food and beverage workers. BentoBox is also partnering with multiple industry personalities to spread awareness about the importance of taking care of restaurant workers: Natasha Pickowicz penned an article on "Why Great Workplaces Make Great Restaurants" and Chris Shepherd authored "Taking Care of Our Own" while Eli Sussman, Evan Sung, Edgar Rico, Ivy Knight of Allez Celine and Todd Helm of Steak Diane will be sharing content on their owned channels. Together, with the support of these industry champions, BentoBox looks to motivate diners and restaurant owners to join the movement, recognize the systemic challenges that restaurant workers face and celebrate National Restaurant Workers Day.

"The holiday season is the busiest time of year for restaurants. National Restaurant Workers Day is our way of recognizing the hard-working people who serve us all year long and encouraging diners to do the same," said Krystle Mobayeni, BentoBox Co-Founder and Head of Restaurants at Fiserv. "Whether it's small steps such as increasing tips on online orders or leaving a positive restaurant review or bigger steps such as supporting restaurant organizations, we can collectively make a significant impact on restaurant workers. We're looking forward to kicking off the first-ever National Restaurant Workers Day and keeping the tradition alive for many years to come."

"I'm excited to partner with BentoBox to bring National Restaurant Workers Day to life. It's our way of showing our appreciation and celebrating restaurant workers across the country, who we interact with everyday," said Shepherd. "We're also creating this day to spread awareness for the struggles they endure that often go unnoticed. From labor shortages to rising costs, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of these issues, and it's essential for us to come together and support the millions of people who power the restaurant industry."

National Restaurant Workers Day is focused on supporting, educating and giving back to the restaurant industry through a series of initiatives:

BentoBox Motivates Diners and Restaurant Owners to Join the Movement

To support restaurant workers, restaurant owners are encouraged to take action with these 11 Restaurant Employee Appreciation Ideas. For diners, simply leaving an extra tip or note of gratitude for your server, treating your favorite bartender to a drink or getting involved with an organization that supports restaurant workers all go a long way.

BentoBox Encourages Customers and Employees to Give Back to Restaurant Workers

Starting December 14, restaurants that utilize BentoBox's platform will be able to use its custom Online Ordering fee as a "Living Wage fee" for their staff. To motivate adoption, BentoBox will launch new resources to help restaurants benefit from this easy-to-use feature. On National Restaurant Workers Day, BentoBox is encouraging its employees to visit a local coffee shop and pay a 100% tip on their orders, which the company will cover. BentoBox will also drop off coffee to restaurant workers at 30+ local restaurants to express gratitude. BentoBox's goal is to lead by example and encourage other businesses and diners to do the same.

Technology Companies Collectively Donate to Southern Smoke

Restaurant tech companies—BentoBox, Clover, Nextable, and Lunchbox—are donating to Southern Smoke Foundation. The Southern Smoke Foundation provides crisis relief and mental health support for restaurant workers and ensures donations and resources go directly in the pockets of those in the food and beverage industry. This donation launches the first of many BentoBox and Southern Smoke joint initiatives that support restaurant workers.

Local Restaurants in Eight Cities Host Events for Employees

Restaurants in eight different cities will host various events, including a family dinner for all employees or industry night, sponsored by BentoBox. Some of the restaurants include Fish Cheeks and Musket Room in New York City, Phuc Yea in Miami, Dune and Pocha in Los Angeles, and Irwin's in Philadelphia.

BentoBox and Studio ATAO Discuss Gentrification's Impact on Local Communities & Restaurants

BentoBox sat down with Edric Huang, Studio ATAO's Head of Research, to discuss their recent report, "The Neighborhood's TableEmpowering Hospitality Businesses to Resist Gentrification & Invest in Their Neighborhoods," which dives into the impact gentrification has on local communities and how restaurants opening in gentrifying neighborhoods can do so in a responsible, community-minded manner.

For more information about National Restaurant Workers Day, please visit


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