Grubhub to provide $ 2 million in grants to LGBT restaurateurs

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Dive brief:

  • Grubhub and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce will offer grants ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 100,000 to restaurants with LGBT operators throughout the fall, according to a press release.
  • Applications must be Proposed by October 12. The NGLCC said 30% of the grants will go to restaurants owned by people of color and transgender and gender nonconforming people.
  • The grant partnership is the latest in a series of restaurant grant and loan programs created by third-party delivery companies, which aim to support struggling operators in the absence of federal aid.

Dive overview:

According to the application portal, to receive funds, applicants must “be a restaurant, bar or cafe owned by LGBTQ + or LGBTQ + allies that serves food.” Applicants must also demonstrate loss of business due to COVID-19 and provide proof that the settlement business is an LGBT-owned or allied business.

“These small business owners have been among the hardest hit by the impact of Covid with job and income losses over the past two years,” the NGLCC wrote in a press release. The organization estimates that there are 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses in the United States, but has not estimated how many of those businesses are restaurants.

Grubhub announced its $ 2 million grant program almost four months after announces a partnership of identical size with the Strong Restaurant Fund. This round of grants was intended to help independent restaurants reopen, according to a press release.

In February, competitor DoorDash created the strong accelerator of the main street, which awarded $ 20,000 and an eight-week training program to 100 restaurateurs. The program placed particular emphasis on grants for women, immigrants and restaurateurs at BIPOC.

In hopes of avoiding a collapse in the independent restaurant market, all of the major third-party delivery apps offered a form of financial assistance to restaurants during the pandemic. Uber Eats provided $ 25 million in free marketing credits to restaurants last summer. Last fall, DoorDash awarded $ 2 million in grants to small restaurants to help them winterize their spaces. Grubhub spent $ 100 million to cut fees, increase advertising, and provide personal protective equipment to restaurants in 2020.

This support from delivery aggregators comes in the absence of appropriate federal support for catering. Earlier this year, Congress awarded $ 28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which provided subsidies to restaurants. But the demands of these grants closed only three weeks after the program opens due to insufficient funds. Like most grants from large delivery companies, the RRF initially focused on providing grants to restaurants owned by women, minorities and veterans.

Grant programs and other restoration initiatives launched by aggregators could also be an attempt to improve their branding halos. Political pressure against delivery companies increases as large cities temporarily move and permanent commission fee caps and adopt changes to labor and wage laws. Some of these changes were vehemently resisted by delivery companies, while others, like New York City’s recent requirement that restaurants allow delivery people to use their bathrooms, received the support of aggregators.

Since the start of the pandemic, Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats have also rolled out tiered pricing structures for partner restaurants, which could make them more accessible to restaurants wary of high commission fees.


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