Open for Good

Community-focused and independent restaurants are at the heart of every city, town, and village across America, and the world. For over 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has celebrated the best of those restaurants, showcased culinary excellence, and pushed chefs and restaurateurs to use their voices for positive change.

Open for Good is the James Beard Foundation’s campaign to help independent restaurants survive this crisis, rebuild better, and thrive for the long term.

Open for Good programs provide critical resources to help independent restaurants build the capacity to come back stronger, more equitable, more sustainable, and more resilient.




Critical support and resources to guide reopening and building back better.

Open for Good Playbooks are created in partnership with chefs, restaurateurs, food producers, and leaders across the food community. They address topics such as:

  • Safety protocols and best practices to minimize the spread of COVID-19
  • Rebalancing gender and racial inequities in hiring and leadership
  • Business models that are fiscally sound and resilient
  • Employee practices that center around the health and well-being of our teams
  • Maintaining a sustainable food supply, minimizing food waste, and supporting local and regional food systems

The first Open for Good playbook, Safety First, produced in partnership with the Aspen Institute, World Central Kitchen, and Off Their Plate, is available for free here.

Industry support webinars that help the industry navigate the challenges of COVID-19 the James Beard Foundation is hosting webinars to help provide resources for the hospitality industry and to better stay connected throughout difficult times.




Mobilizing the community toward systemic policy change that supports a thriving and sustainable food and beverage industry.

Through Open for Good we educate, train, and mobilize the chef community to use their voice in support of public policies from combatting hunger in America to supporting farmers and protecting American fisheries to promoting fair wage models. 

Since 2012, the James Beard Foundation has been training and empowering chefs to advocate for meaningful food system change through the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change.

The James Beard Foundation is a founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which was formed to create a united voice for independent restaurants to affect legislative change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together these chef-advocates meet regularly with mayors, state legislators, governors and members of Congress and their staffs, to create policies focused on a more diverse, equitable and sustainable food system.



Financial Support 

Grants to help independent restaurants survive, reopen, and rebuild.

The restaurant community is always among the first to donate their time and resources to charities, and in a time of crisis are among the first responders that keep communities nourished. They are also among those in need. The Foundation has created a unique grant program to directly support small, independent restaurants.

Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund (March-April 2020) 
Created to provide immediate financial assistance to small, independent restaurants forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. JBF disbursed over $4.7 million to recipients around the country. Read more.

Open for Good Industry Support Fund (coming summer 2020)
Grants from this new industry support fund will initially support the supplemental costs of PPE, redesigning spaces for social distancing, and/or other business improvements needed to reopen the restaurants across the country. This fund will ultimately transition to supporting financial needs of chef-owners to strengthen and expand their businesses.



Consumer PSA Campaign

Engaging food lovers in support of a sustainable independent restaurant industry.

Restaurants and bars offer more than just food. They offer places to share a delicious meal, the opportunity to gather with loved ones, to celebrate achievements. They are the centerpiece of our local main streets and our communities. Restaurants need customers, just as much as diners need a place to go.

Open for Good also offers diners a way to help support the independent restaurant community by engaging in:

  • Social media campaigns to promote independent restaurants
  • Informative and entertaining virtual experiences that provide food system education
  • Public service announcements about staying safe and keeping restaurant employees safe when returning to restaurants
  • Taste America 2020 (fall 2020-spring 2021)


Please consider supporting Open for Good initiatives.