Operation Restaurant Relief™

“Teaming up with restaurants is a win-win for all involved,” says Stan Hays, CEO and Co-Founder.

“Restaurants have the ideal facilities, staff, expertise and organizational experience to help us achieve our goals.”

Operation Restaurant Relief™

In response to COVID-19, Operation BBQ Relief initiated its newest program in 2020, Operation Restaurant Relief™, to provide more than 4.7 million meals to first responders, medical workers, veterans, families and organizations affected by the pandemic in eight states assisting 27 restaurants. Additionally, to help restaurants put employees back to work and avoid closures, the organization partnered with restaurants across the nation to use their kitchen and staff to help serve free meals to their local communities.


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in major economic and social impacts.
  • Due to social distancing guidelines, many states ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants.
  • As shelter orders are in place throughout the country, there are shortages of supplies and volunteers for communities that need to rely on the bandwidth and resources of Operation BBQ Relief.
  • According to the National Restaurant Association, up to 7 million restaurant workers are subject to layoffs in the coming months.
  • With this plan, Operation BBQ Relief has created a way to reverse restaurant closures, put employees back to work, and provide free meals to the local community each day.


  • Operation BBQ Relief will utilize a restaurant’s kitchen and staff.
  • Restaurants will receive a small stipend to participate which will facilitate rehiring of some of their laid-off employees.
  • Operation BBQ Relief will provide the food and some of the necessary supplies to cook a specific number of meals per day for a specific number of days.
  • In collaboration with national and local organizations, meals have been distributed to the homeless, veterans, first responders, healthcare workers, and families.

Following all Center for Disease Control guidelines, Operation BBQ Relief has established safety procedures specifically for COVID-19 that include, but are not limited to:

  • sanitizing all hard surfaces at regular intervals
  • regular medical screening of volunteers upon arrival and during their time at an Operation BBQ Relief deployment site
  • limiting access to the food production areas
  • separation by at least 50 feet for receiving, delivery, and distribution of food