Nacho-loving rivals Guy Fieri and Bill Murray are teaming up for a “Nacho Average Showdown” virtual nacho-making competition to raise awareness and donations for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF). The live event will provide some laughs and raise funds for America’s restaurant workers facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, eight million restaurant workers are unemployed.

RERF was created by industry icon, Guy Fieri, chef and host of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The Fund provides restaurant workers with $500 grants, and 100 percent of all donations go directly to RERF.

The “Nacho Average Showdown” presented by Tostitos is sure to include off-the-wall humor and friendly banter between Fieri and Murray. Their sons, Hunter Fieri, and Chef & Restaurateur Homer Murray will also do battle to show their dads the secret to making perfect nachos. Each competitor will create his signature nachos for “Showdown” judges Terry Crews and Shaquille O’Neal. Food Network host Carla Hall will emcee the event. Viewers will be encouraged to contribute to RERF via the donate button on Food Network’s Facebook page.

RERF supporters such as Ecolab, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tyson Foods, Modelo Negra and Food Network are also sponsoring the “Nacho Average Showdown,” and Uber Eats will be the official delivery partner. To date, more than 50 companies and organizations have helped raise over $22 million for RERF.

“My entire career has been in the restaurant business,” says Fieri. “From bussing tables to flambe captain to dishwasher to chef… I have done it all. I’ve also spent the better part of the last 15 years traveling this great country meeting other folks who’ve dedicated their lives to this business, and let me tell you something, they are the hardest working, most real deal workers you’ve ever met… the heartbeats of their communities. But they need our help and with the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, we can serve up some support when these restaurant employees need it most … right now.”

“The ‘Nacho Average Showdown’ is all about generating awareness and financial relief for the restaurant workers across the nation who are hurting and out of work,” adds Marissa Solis, SVP of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “Tostitos and PepsiCo are proud to put our support behind this cause and are so grateful for partners like Guy and Bill for helping make this event a success.”

“During these challenging times, the NRAEF’s mission to support the industry’s workforce is more important than ever,” says Rob Gifford, NRAEF president. “With Guy as our champion, stars like Bill, Carla, Shaq and Terry and the support of so many generous companies, we can help get our family of restaurant workers back on their feet, and back to building their futures in this industry of limitless opportunities.”

Industry News, Philanthropy