Extraordinary People

TV chef swoops in to save restaurant staff and put money in their pockets

Restaurant workers gifted lifeline by foodie Guy Fieri

With the hospitality industry having endured immense hardship over the last year, it is touch and go over which bars and restaurants will reopen their doors again.

Yet thanks to an eye-wateringly generous donation from foodie Guy Fieri, many restaurant workers have been given a major lifeline.

The American restauranteur, who also has his own cooking show on US cable channel Food Network, has raised $25million (£18m) to help people hit by the pandemic.

[Credit: CBS]

Guy teamed up with the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help more than 43,000 people.

The money will be distributed as $500 grants to restaurant workers in all 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, Guam, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Speaking about his involvement, Guy said he wanted to gift an olive branch to people who are really struggling and have suffered a significant drop in income.

Guy said: “We were separated from my parents for Christmas. Lost some really wonderful friends during this. So, there’s been enough to really bum me out, bum us out and get us all down.

“But on the other side of it, there’s so many people that have it so much worse.”

[Credit: Guy Fieri]

Chatting to CBS, Guy added: “You know, so many people work in the restaurant industry in multiple jobs, second jobs, single mums, single parents, students, retirees. And the restaurant industry is massively important to our communities.

“And so, I said, ‘We got to do something to get some money to these folks.’”

As each state in America is governed by its own constitution, it has meant varying rules in different areas, making it a postcode lottery for hospitality workers.

[Credit: Guy Fieri]

For example, in Texas, Florida and South Carolina, restaurants are open for dine-in without restrictions, whereas over in California, Georgia and Hawaii there are restrictions in place.

Over in the UK, we are currently on a roadmap out of lockdown that began on March 8 when pupils returned to schools; this has since been followed with the reopening of hairdressers and beer gardens, with the majority of rules aiming to be lifted by June 21.

Keep those fingers (and toes!) tightly crossed.

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