A 2021 highlight: Helping restaurant and healthcare workers in Florida
In 2021, the U.S. restaurant industry began its recovery after being hit with the hardest months in recent history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Restaurant Association reported in their 2021 mid-year update that, during the first seven months of the year, eating and drinking establishments recovered a net 1.3 million jobs.
As Rob Gifford, president of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, shared with us, “It’s critical that we’re doing everything we can to help the restaurant businesses and restaurant employees keep their operations open to the best of their ability.”
Pepsi Stronger Together went to work in Orlando and Miami this year, teaming up with iHeartMedia and Puerto Rican superstar Lunay to support Hispanic restaurant and healthcare workers in September and October.
The givebacks honored Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrated the eighth annual iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in Orlando. The concert itself showcased the evolving cultural power of Latin music through a strong performance lineup.
Through surprise grants and meal givebacks, we want to thank those who have been working so hard over the last year and a half.
With our partners, Pepsi Stronger Together contributed more than $50K to the community, with a heavy emphasis on supporting local restaurants.
"Through surprise grants and meal givebacks, we want to thank those who have been working so hard over the last year and a half,” said Jenny Figueroa, Sr. Marketing Director, South Division, PBNA.
By providing funds to Miami Cuban restaurant Sergio’s, restaurant workers delivered meals to healthcare workers at HCA Kendall and at Delray Medical.
Funds given to Zaza Cuban Comfort Food translated into meal deliveries to healthcare workers at Advent Health Orlando.
"As a proud Cuban American who lives in Miami, I know how strong the community is here and there’s nothing like being able to reward those who deserve it most with some great comida cubana and some fun,” said Enrique Santos, President and Chief Creative Officer of iHeartLatino and on-air personality for iHeartRadio.
Restaurant workers from Zaza were also gifted Fiesta Latina tickets and a meet and greet opportunity with Lunay. At the concert, he surprised those same restaurant workers with $1,000 in grants to support their business.
“It’s so great to be able to work with Pepsi to be able to spread joy to those keeping the local community running,” Lunay said.