#TheGreatAmericanTakeout Comes Back for Seconds

Americans Encouraged to Post and Tag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout to Support RERF.US the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and CORE: CHILDREN OF RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES

For the second Tuesday in a row, a coalition of restaurants is asking Americans to support the struggling restaurant community by ordering at least one delivery or pick-up meal from any restaurant during The Great American Takeout today.

To up the ante, both Smithfield Foods and Ventura Foods are making charitable donations based on social media posts tagged with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.

For every social post tagged with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, Smithfield Foods will make a $5 donation, up to $50,000, to CORE: CHILDREN OF RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES, a national nonprofit dedicated to assisting food and beverage service employees with children who are faced with a health crisis or natural disaster and in need of financial support. Donations made to the CORE COVID-19 Relief Fund will go to industry employees and their families in need due to the direct impact of a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Additionally, Ventura Foods, one of the founding members of the coalition, will donate $5 per post, up to $25,000, to the RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE RELIEF FUND (RERF.US). The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation created RERF.US to support U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and to provide aid to restaurant employees nationwide.

The coronavirus has greatly impacted small and large businesses, in particular the restaurant community, which employs more than 15 million Americans. This has forced restaurants across the country to close their dining rooms, leaving takeout, pick-up, drive-thru and delivery the only opportunities to keep their restaurants afloat.

The Great American Takeout movement began last week when a coalition of restaurants including Veggie Grill, The Habit Burger Grill, Blaze Pizza, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar, El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, California Pizza Kitchen, Lazy Dog Cafe, Torchy’s Tacos, The Cheesecake Factory, Panera Bread, and Noodles & Company asked Americans to order at least one delivery or pick-up meal on March 24 to show support for the broader restaurant community nationwide.

"We’re honored to partner with the entire restaurant community and to participate in the Great American Takeout on Tuesday," said John Cywinski, President of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar. "We are truly grateful for our guests and neighbors all across the country who are showing up to support those who work tirelessly in our restaurants."

The Great American Takeout has received widespread support, including from The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP), who joined the coalition to help amplify and support The Great American Takeout.

"The recent groundswell of support for restaurants and restaurant employees through the #TheGreatAmericanTakeout has been heartwarming and inspiring," said Kathleen Ciaramello, President, Foodservice and On-Premise, Coca-Cola North America. "We hope everyone will join us in supporting these restaurants and their employees when they need us most."

"PepsiCo is grateful to stand united with our peers to show support for restaurants across the country and the incredible employees at the heart of the industry," said Anne Fink, President of Global Foodservice at PepsiCo. "Through programs like The Great American Takeout, we can help our customers weather this storm and reshape the way people think about dining -- eating in is the new going out."

Week 1 of the Great American Takeout was a nationwide success, with more than 50,000 social media posts tagged #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, triggering an initial $100,000 donation from Smithfield Foods to CORE, in support of industry employees and their families impacted by a direct COVID-19 diagnosis. Additionally, according to an independent research study conducted by Lieberman New York Inc, 36% of Americans became aware of the no-budget, grassroots, 6-day campaign.

For more information about The Great American Takeout, visit www.thegreatamericantakeout.com.

For more information on CORE, please visit www.coregives.org and follow along on social media at @COREGives on Facebook, Instagram (@core_gives) and Twitter.

For more information on NRAEF, please visit www.chooserestaurants.org and follow along on social media at @NRAEF.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200331005416/en/

Contacts

Sara Dunaj
High Wide & Handsome // The Great American Takeout
860.705.5616
sara.dunaj@wearehwh.com

Sarah Grover
Interim CMO Veggie Grill // The Great American Takeout
sarah.grover@veggiegrill.com

Rich Maiore
Rocket Social Impact // CORE
978.790.6225
rich@rocketsocialimpact.com

Melanie O’Sullivan
PepsiCo Global Foodservice
melanie.osullivan@pepsico.com

Jamal Booker
Coca-Cola North America
cctradecomms@jacksonspalding.com