Grubhub expands commitment to women culinary leaders

Hema of Hema’s Kitchen in Chicago

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Grubhub is strengthening and expanding its commitment to grow the number of women-led restaurants, especially those impacted by COVID.

It was four years ago with the creation of RestaurantHER that Grubhub first started using its technology platform to drive change and respond to the issues facing women in the restaurant industry. The company pledged to champion and support women-led restaurants, raise awareness about inequality in the industry and help improve things for the better.

As Grubhub kicks off its fourth year of RestaurantHER, they are working with World Central Kitchen (WCK) and the Women Business Collaborative (WBC) to support and help amplify their ongoing efforts for women in the culinary industry. 

RestaurantHER comes this year as women have lost the most jobs during the pandemic. In January 2021, women were still down 5.4 million jobs, which makes up 55 percent of total jobs lost. The restaurant industry was among those most impacted by COVID, and a majority of the workforce are women. Before COVID, female restaurant workers (especially owners and chefs) struggled to grow due to lack of sponsorship, funding and even workplace harassment. As a result, there are fewer women at the leadership level in restaurants. And now those numbers are dwindling even further.

“We are hopeful that across the country, RestaurantHER will spark a movement of support for women-owned and operated restaurants,” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Grubhub. “Women restaurateurs are highly capable business leaders in the industry, and they often face barriers that their male counterparts do not. This month, and every month, at Grubhub, we want to shine a light on women-led restaurants and all the benefits these women bring to their communities through their dedication, their creativity and their cuisine.”

Since Grubhub began the RestaurantHER initiative in 2018, they have seen talented and aspiring chefs who have been able to succeed in part because of the resources and programs of RestaurantHER. They work with organizations such as the James Beard Foundation and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs to provide grants and tools for female chefs and culinary leaders to navigate and address the specific challenges they face in the industry. Additionally, Grubhub created a RestaurantHER map where diners can find a women-led restaurant near them.

To continue their efforts, Grubhub is supporting World Central Kitchen’s Restaurants for the People program and specifically restaurants that are women-owned and operated. Grubhub will support these efforts through the Donate the Change program during Women’s History Month, where diners are invited to join them in helping these women. Grubhub’s Donate the Change feature allows diners who opt-in to round up their change on every order. All proceeds will go to World Central Kitchen to provide nourishing meals to help vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic.

Last year, Grubhub diners across the country generously donated a total of $21 million to support various organizations and communities in need through Donate the Change. 

“We are grateful for Grubhub’s support and belief in our mission, and recognition that restaurants are a key part of the solution to the ongoing health, economic, and humanitarian crises. Their support will specifically help women-owned and operated restaurants that are a part of our Restaurants for the People program, which pays restaurants directly to help keep their business afloat while also providing tens of thousands of meals to people in need,” said Erin Gore, Vice President of Development at World Central Kitchen. 

Grubhub is also excited to kick off a partnership with the Women Business Collaborative, an alliance of more than 44 women business organizations and thousands of individuals who are committed to gender equality in the workplace. Together, they raise awareness and encourage Americans to support local women-owned restaurants throughout the month of March and throughout the year. They will also form an advisory board in 2021 composed of female restaurant owners to discuss issues in the industry and ways Grubhub and others can help.

“The time is now for all of us to commit to order from women-owned restaurants and tell the stories of our support in every community across this nation. We are devoted to this effort with RestaurantHER and Grubhub,” added Edie Fraser, CEO of Women Business Collaborative.

World Central Kitchen will also be Grubhub’s donation partner for their popular virtual concert series Sound Bites, which will feature performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Cyrus and King Princess. Fans tuning in will be encouraged to scan customized QR codes that will pop up throughout the show to receive special discounts and Perks, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from King Princess. For every QR code scanned at one point during the live stream, Grubhub will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to World Central Kitchen.

The free Sound Bites concert will take place on Friday, March 26 at 7 p.m. ET on the Grubhub YouTube channel.

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