Food Network star Guy Fieri has raised over $21.5 million with the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which aims to assist restaurants that shut down due to the coronavirus.
As the coronavirus ramped up this past spring, thousands of restaurants across the country had to shut down after the government enforced social distancing practices.
Soon after, businesses across the U.S. started to feel the catastrophic effects of the pandemic-related closures. To help the industry that’s remained loyal to him for decades, Fieri created the fund.
The bulk of the money came after Fieri called upon companies, such as Moët Hennessy USA, PepsiCo, and Uber Eats. With their collective sponsorship, the fund has helped over 43,000 people receive $500 grants for their restaurant businesses.
Guy Fieri Praised for Generous Efforts
The Diners Drive-is and Dives host is garnering praise on social media for his efforts to assist unemployed restaurant workers financially. Some even credited Fieri with “doing more than Congress” to help people in need.
“Guy Fieri has raised $21.5 million for unemployed restaurant workers, which means Guy Fieri has done more for unemployed restaurant workers than Congress has in the last 8 months,” tweeted Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price.
One Twitter user said what many were thinking when they tweeted about Fieri’s and Dolly Parton’s altruistic streak this year.
“Who would’ve thought that as 2020 comes to an end, we’d be praising Dolly Parton & Guy Fieri for doing what the government couldn’t or wouldn’t…” country singer Joanie Reb similarly tweeted, referring to Parton’s financial donations for a COVID vaccine.
The “self-appointed Mayor of Flavortown,” also produced a documentary, Restaurant Hustle 2020, that shed light on the industry’s challenges. The documentary airs on the Food Network this month.
Fieri also plans to open his delivery-only chain, appropriately named Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen. The chain will be located in 200 cities across the country, including Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Dishes include the Real Cheezy burger, which comes with Fieri’s signature donkey sauce.