Cal Poly Pomona hospitality management student Matthew Delaney was one of six students nationwide given a $25,000 grant during Guy’s Restaurant Reboot Presented by LendingTree.
The primetime virtual event live-streamed on Facebook was hosted by restaurant industry icon Guy Fieri on June 12 and aimed to inspire the next generation of restaurant entrepreneurs by awarding a total of $300,000 in financial support via the “Help Rebuild Restaurants Grant.”
“The hospitality industry is as resilient as any, but this past year has been a challenge like we’ve never seen,” said Fieri. “Guy’s Restaurant Reboot Presented by LendingTree is all about great people and companies coming together to inspire and encourage the future of our restaurants and the hard-working entrepreneurs behind them.”
Created in partnership between Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and California Restaurant Foundation, the financial support was awarded to six students and five restaurant owners across the country. The grants were generously funded by the event’s founding partners.
Delaney, who expects to graduate from the Collins College of Hospitality Management in 2022, is currently director of operations and grand opening trainer for Chick-Fil-A. He dreams of one day owning and operating his own franchise with the company.
“I haven’t found a single other restaurant that takes care of their employees the way they do, has the ambitions that they do, and [with my career, I want to] take care of the community around me through Chick-fil-A,” he said.
Delaney must stand out from the crowd of franchisee applicants to reach his goal and plans to do so by pursuing a graduate degree and having no debt to his name. His $25,000 grant, sponsored by GrubHub, will go toward a master’s in human resources or leadership development to further his career without taking out loans.
“I think that you are exactly what our industry needs – someone that goes to school with the ambition and the drive and the desire to really get involved,” said Fieri. “This scholarship from the GrubHub team is going to help you out a lot and let you focus on what you really need to do, which is eventually get over there and own your Chick-fil-A.”