Give Restaurant Workers a Chance to Advance by Supporting the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Help create opportunities for restaurant workers nationwide on giving Tuesday

WASHINGTON, DC – November 30, 2021 – Today, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) launches its Restaurants Advance giving campaign to help build restaurant worker futures, support our communities and inspire entrepreneurship. To support the NRAEF’s mission and programs, Tito’s Handmade Vodka® is matching all donations with a pledge of up to $100K.

Restaurants Advance” is an opportunity for individuals, companies, and organizations to show support for restaurant workers as they continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants are still nearly 800,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels, and 90,000 restaurants have closed permanently or long-term. A recent survey shows that 78% of restaurant operators don’t have enough employees to support customer demand.

“Restaurant workers and operators are continuing to face unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19,” said Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF.  “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made this year to help rebuild the industry and its workforce, but there is still an incredible amount of work to be done. Your donation and continued support will make a significant impact in the lives of restaurant workers everywhere.”

100 percent of all donations to “Restaurants Advance” go directly to help fund three key support areas benefiting 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.

The NRAEF launched “Restaurants Advance” in April of this year with a $1.75M commitment from Constellation Brands and support from other industry brands American Express, Ecolab, Inspire Brands, Land O’Lakes, Netflix, and Whataburger. So far, the “Restaurants Advance” campaign raised over $7.5M in corporate support and individual donations to help put restaurant worker futures back on track.

To make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit our NRAEF Giving Tuesday donation site. 100 percent of all funds raised go to supporting the NRAEF and its programs. To learn more about the NRAEF and its work to empower and advance restaurant workers everywhere, visit



About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community-based organizations to provide opportunity youth and justice-involved individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry.  To learn more about the NRAEF and its work, visit


Tori Hyndman
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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