- Grubhub announced Tuesday it is teaming with the Greg Hill Foundation's Restaurant Strong Fund to offer $5,000 grants to eligible independent restaurants. The $2 million Restaurant Stronger Grant program's funds can be put toward fully reopening, including hiring and training, inventory purchases and COVID-19-related requirements.
- Independent restaurants with five or fewer locations in select cities can apply for the program between May 25 and June 5. Grants will be fully distributed to restaurants by June 11.
- This fund follows the closure of the $29 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which stopped accepting applications Monday at 8 p.m. EST — just three weeks after launch. During those three weeks, RRF prioritized women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. Grubhub's grants could help operators who did not receive aid before the portal closed.
Grubhub and its third-party delivery rivals all rolled out financial aid for their restaurant partners last year in the wake of pandemic disruption — mainly because the industry had yet to receive federal aid tailored to its specific needs. Many operators bemoaned the Paycheck Protection Program's stringent payroll requirements and feared they would fall out of compliance with the program's frequently shifting guidelines. Restaurant-adjacent companies and city governments stepped up to offer struggling operators temporary relief while they waited for the RRF to pass and distribute funds.
But now, the RRF has closed and some restaurants are still fighting to keep their heads above water. The RRF received more than 303,000 applications totaling over $69 billion in requested funds — more than double what the fund is worth.
This gap in aid could result in more restaurant closures and spark a second flurry of grant programs from third-party delivery platforms looking to keep their partners financially healthy. Lawmakers are hopeful the fund will eventually be refilled, but there is no guarantee Congress will approve this.
Grubhub's grant could temporarily help keep its partner network from shrinking due to closures, and also deepen loyalty with partner restaurants. Earlier this month, Grubhub worked to support independent restaurants by launching Grubhub Direct, a commission-free platform that lets these operators create customizable ordering websites, manage diner relationships and access diner data including names, emails and order history. Grubhub and the Restaurant Strong Fund also partnered to launch a $2 million Restaurant Winterization Grant program last year that provided $10,000 to eligible independent restaurants.