Eight million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. To provide immediate support to impacted workers, PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation committed to raising an additional $3 million for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF), spearheaded by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and industry icon Guy Fieri.
The announcement came during the latest episode of “Some Good News,” John Krasinski’s’ digital news show dedicated to sharing positives stories from around the world. The fifth episode celebrated restaurant industry workers, many who have stepped up to keep their communities fed during the crisis even while facing hardships of their own. Krasinski also hosted a virtual potluck with fans and celebrity chefs including Fieri, and surprised him with the news of PepsiCo’s commitment.
“What I loved about sharing this good news is that PepsiCo isn’t just writing a check – they’re bringing together employees, partners and fans to help reach this important goal, increase awareness of this issue and the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund,” said SGN host John Krasinski. “When this is all over, I can’t wait to celebrate at my favorite restaurant and show my gratitude to all of the heroes that work in the industry.”
The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) was launched in March by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Fieri to provide immediate financial support to industry workers. PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation helped kick off efforts as a $1.5 million founding sponsor of the RERF, with 100% of funds going directly to restaurant employees in need.
To help #RaiseTheRERF, PepsiCo is increasing its initial RERF contribution, double-matching employee donations, and rallying its partners and the public to donate. All efforts are part of PepsiCo’s more than $50 million in COVID-19 relief initiatives, primarily connected to providing food and other vital resources for those in need.
“America’s restaurants have been hit harder than we ever could’ve imagined when we started the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund,” said Fieri, chef, restaurateur, author, and Emmy award-winning television host of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. “We’ve got a lot of work to do still for our brothers and sisters in the industry so we’re grateful for leaders like PepsiCo that inspire others to get on board and pitch in.”
“We’re mobilizing our full ecosystem of brands, employees, partners and our Foundation to provide relief during the crisis as well as preparing to support restaurants when they’re ready to get back to business,” said Scott Finlow, chief marketing officer, PepsiCo Global Foodservice. “We’re grateful to John Krasinski and Some Good News for highlighting the incredible men and women of the foodservice industry and encouraging people to support them through the RERF.”