The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced the launch of “Restaurants Advance,” a national fundraising campaign to help current and future restaurant workers access the education and training they need to put their job or career back on track. Constellation Brands, a leading beverage alcohol company, has committed $1.75M to support the NRAEF and its Restaurants Advance initiative as the industry continues to rebuild and reopen after COVID-19.
Since March 2020, over two million workers have lost their jobs, salaries, and opportunities to advance. The National Restaurant Association reports that 110,000 or 17% of restaurants have closed permanently and or long-term, the vast majority of permanently closed restaurants were well-established businesses and fixtures in their communities.
Working alongside its partner organization, the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), the NRAEF’s Restaurants Advance campaign focuses on three key support areas benefitting both restaurant workers and operators:
Restaurants Advance Futures – programs to attract, empower and advance diverse talent pursuing a future in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry.
Restaurants Advance Communities – helping employers and communities create opportunities through first job skills training, apprenticeships and professional development.
Restaurants Advance Entrepreneurship – putting people from all backgrounds on a pathway to restaurant ownership and/or an executive level leadership position.
100 percent of every dollar donated supports our mission to empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant workers. The work of the NRAEF includes offering scholarships to anyone building a future in restaurants; helping our military transition into the industry; providing apprenticeships and building pathways to independence for justice-involved youth through job skills training and mentoring.
“While the pandemic has caused historic pain for restaurants and restaurant workers, it has raised the public consciousness for just how important this industry is to the health and well-being of our society,” says Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF. “What we do now will shape the industry’s future and the lives of millions of people for years to come. We are grateful for the strong support of Constellation Brands as we kick-off Restaurants Advance and lead this vital industry and its workforce into a new era of hope and opportunity.”
“Many of our retail partners, particularly local restaurants and their employees, have been significantly impacted by this terrible virus,” adds Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands’ president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to partner with the NRAEF and play a role in helping to rebuild the industry, and we believe that starts with the people who serve as its backbone. Our hope is to not only help rebuild the industry’s workforce with talented and diverse individuals to position it for future growth, but also to help bring financial security through enhanced employment opportunities to the thousands who have been impacted financially by the pandemic.”
Donations to Restaurants Advance can be made online at ChooseRestaurants.org/Advance. To learn more about the NRAEF and its work to empower and advance restaurant workers everywhere, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.