The Mayor of Flavortown Guy Fieri raised $21.5 million for a relief fund for restaurant workers, who can apply for $500 grants from the fund.
“What I started thinking about my brothers and sisters in the restaurant business and a bunch of restaurants that I was closing,” Fieri told TMZ last week. Both his restaurants in Las Vegas — Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at the Linq and Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho at the Rio — closed on March 17 when Gov. Steve Sisolak required all nonessential businesses including casinos to close. While dine-in restaurants outside of casinos already reopened for service, casinos in Nevada remain closed.
Fieri partnered up with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to launch the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. In less than two months, the organization awarded more than 40,000 grants of $500 each to out-of-work hospitality employees across the country.
He believes the smaller mom and pop restaurants that he typically features on his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives will survive. “Those are family-run and they’ve got mom and dad and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters [involved]. A lot of these folks are the ones that are probably … kind of open or open now for takeout and delivery,” he said.
The UNLV grad says that larger restaurants may have a tougher time recovering. “When they have a huge staff with a lot of training and a lot of moving parts to it, I don’t know that they’re gonna be able to recover as fast,” he said.
• All AM Intel [ELV]