Back in March, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Guy Fieri launched the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant employees around the country affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

As of Tuesday, the RERF reached $20 million, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Over the past month, the fund has grown with the support of famous chefs, a Now This video, and celebrity endorsements. 

One of the most recent celebrity boosts was from “The Office” actor John Krasinski. The actor’s YouTube show, Some Good News, had a restaurant-focused episode. The episode included guests Guy Fieri, Momofuku Group founder David Chang, Martha Stewart, and Stanley Tucci on the show. During the episode, Krasinksi announced a $3 million donation by PepsiCo to the RERF, which brought the fund to $20 million.

Over the last two weeks, the RERF has been processing grants and delivering cash to restaurants, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

The fund first opened for applications on April 2nd. However, the fund received an overwhelming amount of applicants and had to shut down. The application reopened on April 9th with a more user-friendly experience using registrations. Once the registration hit 63,000 applicants, it closed once again.

To date, 10,000 people have been approved for the $500 grant from the RERF. 


In order to be eligible for the grant, hospitality workers must have been employed in the restaurant industry for at least 90 days, had a significant loss of income due to the pandemic, and proven documentation.

For more information, visit the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund site.