PepsiCo Foodservice recently committed a more than $50 million commitment for COVID-19 relief. The brand behemoth is supporting the sector with four new programs aimed at bolstering restaurants and their workers who have been hard hit by the crisis.
"Restaurants are connective hubs of our communities, where we enjoy our daily routines as well as celebrate our most special moments. The people who work in restaurants are the ones who make those moments possible and we're mobilizing everyone we can to help them right now," said Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer. "Through these relief programs and virtual events, we're giving people multiple ways to come together in support of restaurants and restaurant workers nationwide."
To support struggling restaurant workers, PepsiCo committed $1 million to help kickstart the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). According to a press release, the fund provides $500 grants to industry employees who've been impacted by COVID-19, including a significant decrease in wages or loss of employment. On his digital show Some Good News, filmmaker and actor John Krasinski surprised Fieri when he shared PepsiCo's commitment to raise an additional $3 million for the RERF.
In the company’s second initiative, nacho-loving rivals Guy Fieri and Bill Murray are teaming up to present "Nacho Average Showdown," a live virtual nacho-making competition presented by Tostitos to raise awareness and donations to the RERF. The competition will be judged by basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, actor Terry Crews, and emceed by Food Network host Carla Hall.
Along with partners like Uber Eats, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Ecolab, Modelo Negra, Tyson Foods, and Food Network, the event will provide some laughs and raise much needed funds for restaurant workers facing financial hardship. Food Network will broadcast the competition live on Friday, May 15, at 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST on Facebook.
PepsiCo is also inviting consumers to bolster eateries with The Great American Takeout. By ordering at least one meal a week for delivery or pickup, people can help keep restaurants in business.
Also on Friday, May 15, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST, PepsiCo will host a virtual Dinner & A Movie in support of The Great American Takeout. The free event includes a screening of A Fine Line, which will be followed by a live discussion with featured chefs Cat Cora, Tanya Holland, Maricel Presilla, and Val James, who'll share their personal experiences and how they're finding creative ways to help restaurant employees and stay in business.
PepsiCo also teamed up with UNIVISION to create a public service announcement (PSA) to further support The Great American Takeout. The PSA features Jesús Díaz, aka Chef Yisus, host of cooking segment on "Despierta América," the most-watched morning show on Spanish-language television.
Lastly, PepsiCo Foodservice partners with customers in channels from restaurants and hotels, to hospitals and schools, and beyond. As the foodservice industry and consumers figure out how to adjust to the new landscape, PepsiCo is launching a resource web page to help operators every step of the way whether it's reopening their doors, reimagining their businesses, or setting the stage for future growth.
PepsiCo Foodservice COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts also have included:
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