Guy Fieri Raised More Than $20 Million For Out-Of-Work Restaurant Workers

by Leah Groth
Originally Published: 
Guy Fieri
Jeremiah Alley/Food Network

So far, Guy Fieri has awarded $500 grants to 40,000 applicants

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans are out of work. In fact, according to the most recent reports, the unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been. One industry hit particularly hard by the economic shutdown and shelter-in-place orders across the country is the hospitality business. The majority of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have temporarily closed, and even those remaining open are working on skeleton staff due to takeout orders only. This has left hospitality workers — many of whom depend on tips for survival — in a very bad place.

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri was one of the many restaurant owners forced to close down his many eateries. However, instead of sitting back and watching his employees and other vulnerable hospitality workers suffer economically, he is helping them out in a major way.

The “Mayor of Flavortown” dialed into TMZ Live on May 7 to announce that he raised more than $20 million to help struggling workers. How? Simply by using his celebrity status to connect with CEOs from companies such as Pepsi, Coke, and Uber Eats, and ask them to partner up with the National Restaurant Association to establish the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.

The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund provides grants to restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus.

“When this all took place I was like everyone else: Is it really happening? How long is this going to happen? I started thinking about my brothers and sisters in the restaurant business and a bunch of the restaurants that I was closing, and we gotta do something,” Fieri said.

And in just two months, Fieri has managed to award $500 grants to 40,000 applicants — and he isn’t planning on quitting any time soon.

“As long as the money continues to come in, we are going to give out these grants,” he confirmed.

On Friday, Fieri announced on the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund’s Instagram account 10,000 new grants.

Good for Fieri for going above and beyond to help the people in his industry during such a trying time. If he didn’t before, he has truly lived up to his title as the Mayor of Flavortown.

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