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Navigating Restaurant Relief Funds, Petitions and Campaigns

Restaurant groups, organizations and foundations have organized efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the industry.

After ordering delivery, investing in gift cards and buying merchandise from independent businesses, we’re all trying to navigate the flood of relief funds and hashtags on our Instagram feeds. Here’s a breakdown of the broadest opportunities to help determine where you can donate or sign to support the restaurant and hospitality industry.

A slew of prominent restaurateurs have set up funds for their staff, including Daniel Boulud, Fredrik Berselius, Tom Colicchio, Marc Forgione, Danny Meyer and Junghyun Park. Here are five ways these chefs are joining others across America as restaurants come together for the greater good:

The Independent Restaurant Coalition's #SaveRestaurants Campaign

The IRC is calling on Congress for relief with three proposals at Chefs Sean Brock, Tom Colicchio, Ashley Christensen, Will Guidara, Marcus Samuelsson and others are supporting the call for an income replacement program and grants by tagging specific representatives on social media. Culinary professionals can share their personal stories on the website and read more about the campaign.

Restaurant relief funds and campaigns
Follow @iceculinary for updates.

The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund

JBF’s national fund is backed by $1 million from S. Pellegrino and $425,000 from PATRÓN tequila, among other corporate and private donors, “to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need.” Business owners can learn more about the application process at

Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants' Petition

More than 45 New York City restaurants founded ROAR, which presents eight goals covering rent abatement, payment deferrals, taxes, unemployment benefits and insurance coverage, on in a petition for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The group — which includes Jean-Georges Restaurants, Momofuku Group, Starr Restaurants and The Dinex Group — aims to acquire 35,000 signatures and requests $11 from each signee, more than 10,000 of whom have donated.

The RWCF COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund

The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) aims to provide cash assistance and zero-interest loans, support organizations and establish a relief fund. The fund also supports small businesses and industry relief organizations. Individuals and companies can donate directly to the relief fund at, which breaks down where the money is going.

Save America's Restaurants' Petition

Nationally, more than 45 chefs from 20 cities are petitioning America's mayors, governors and legislators for five courses of action for aid with rent, taxes and employment benefits. More than 269,000 have supported the initiative aimed at 300,000 signatures, and signees are asked to chip in $2 to spread the word. Chefs behind the campaign include ICE alum Vivian Howard (Culinary, '03) in North Carolina; Curtis Stone, Susan Feniger and Tim Hollingsworth in Los Angeles; and Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Cohen and Geoffrey Zakarian in NYC.

More on COVID-19 and the restaurant industry:
Resources for Restaurant Industry Workers
ICE President & CEO Rick Smilow Compels Community to Order In
Six Food Books to Get You through the Shutdown
Food for Boosting Immunity and Calming Nerves

Restaurant & Culinary Management  Culinary Arts

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