Information on 50 Best for Recovery – direct grant applications

50 Best for Recovery is a programme launched in May 2020 to support the global hospitality sector and help in its recovery from the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The 50 Best Recovery Fund seeks to provide tangible financial relief for the global bar and restaurant sectors. It is led by the organisation behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World’s 50 Best Bars.

The 50 Best organisation, owned by William Reed Business Media Ltd., has established the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC, a not-for-profit community interest company that will distribute all proceeds of the Recovery Fund to restaurants, bars and non-profit organisations supporting the sector. Of the total amount raised, at least 50% will go directly to restaurants and bars. The World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC is fully licensed to distribute the funds and is subject to statutory audit. Individual restaurants and bars from all countries can apply for grants of up to $5,000. 

Applications were open between July 27 and August 2 and are now closed.

Direct grants – your key questions answered

Is my restaurant or bar eligible to apply for a direct grant from the 50 Best Recovery Fund?
All types of restaurants and bars in all countries are eligible to apply for a grant, provided that they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must have been trading since 1 January 2019 or before (restaurants or bars open for less than 18 months, including the coronavirus closure period, are not eligible)
  • Must have still been trading immediately prior to the coronavirus lockdown in 2020
  • Must have an active website or social media account eg Instagram or Facebook showing posts dating back to at least 1 January 2019 as evidence of trading
  • Must have 80 workers or fewer (restaurants); or 40 workers or fewer (bars)
  • Must be an independent business and not part of a multi-site chain

Does my bar or restaurant have to be on the 50 Best list to be eligible for a grant?
No. All types of restaurants and bars are eligible, provided that they meet all of the criteria stated above. The 50 Best Recovery Fund aims to reach a diverse range of restaurants and bars from a wide range of different countries.

When do applications for direct grants open and close?
Applications for grants open on Monday 27 July 2020 at 14:00 UK time and close on Sunday 2 August 2020 at 23:59 UK time.

How do I apply for a grant for my restaurant or bar?
If you are a restaurant, please visit the grant application site here and submit your application form between Monday 27 July 2020 at 14:00 UK time and Sunday 2 August 2020 at 23:59 UK time. If you are a bar, visit the site here and submit your form during the same time period.

Is the application form available in my own language?
Bars and restaurants from all countries around the world are eligible to apply for a direct grant, but unfortunately it is not possible for us to process applications in every language. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to accept forms completed in English only. We understand this may exclude some people from the process and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We have sought to make the application form as straightforward as possible.

Does my establishment have to be open currently to be eligible?
No. As long as your restaurant or bar was trading immediately prior to lockdown, and had been in business since January 1, 2019 latest, then you remain eligible, unless you have closed the business down permanently.

Will every restaurant or bar that applies for a grant be successful?
Unfortunately, we are anticipating high demand, so it is unlikely that we will be able to fulfil every request for funding. However, we will endeavour to make sure the grants are awarded to those with the greatest need.

What does the application process entail?
We have created a simple application form requesting information about your restaurant or bar, including contact details and information about the effects of coronavirus lockdown on your business. You will be required to provide evidence that your business is legally established, therefore please gather any relevant documentation (such as a tax or business incorporation certificate) before the deadline of 2 August 2020. Application forms must be filled out in English only.

What information do I need to provide?
To apply for a grant for your restaurant or bar, you must answer a series of compulsory questions including contact details and information about your business such as number of workers and date of commencement of trading. You will also be asked a series of questions about the impact of the pandemic on your business to help the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC to determine the level of need for financial assistance, as well as how you would use the grant money, if received. Finally, you will be asked to provide bank details for your business and evidence that your business is legally established, such as a tax or business incorporation certificate.

How will my data be used?
The personal data you submit will be processed only for the purposes of the 50 Best Recovery Fund and will not be disclosed to any third party. More information can be found in our privacy notice.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?
The World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC will contact all applicants by Monday 31 August 2020. We will also notify applicants if they have been unsuccessful. If we are able to raise more funds and award a second round of grants, those unsuccessful applicants will be eligible for the second round and will be notified as appropriate.

If successful, when will I receive the funds?
The World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC expects to make all grant payments by Tuesday 8 September 2020.

How much money will be awarded to each restaurant or bar?
Individual restaurants and bars are eligible to receive a maximum of $5,000 each. In most cases, restaurants or bars will receive the full grant of $5,000. However, in certain countries with differing economic circumstances, a smaller sum may be awarded.

If I receive a grant, will you publish the name of my restaurant or bar?
Yes. For transparency purposes, the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC will publish a list of all the restaurants and bars that have been awarded grants, as well as the breakdown of funds awarded to each non-profit organisation. On the application form, you will be asked to agree to the sharing of your bar or restaurant name in relation to the 50 Best Recovery Fund.

Will there be a second round of grants?
The overall 50 Best for Recovery programme includes a number of initiatives that may continue to gather funds after the initial application dates. According to the additional funds raised after the initial round of grants, the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC may launch a second round.

What is the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC approach to diversity?
The World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC welcomes applications from businesses led by individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and from all communities, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or health status.

How do you decide who receives direct grants?
The World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC will allocate grants according to level of need. Restaurants and bars will be asked to provide information on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their business, as well as detailing any financial or other assistance already received by their local or national government. The grants will be allocated according to a wide geographical spread.

If I receive a grant, am I still eligible for future 50 Best lists?
Yes. Your application for a grant from the 50 Best Recovery Fund bears no relation whatsoever to your future candidacy for any of the 50 Best lists. Each of the 50 Best lists is created by the votes of our anonymous panels of voters, based on their favourite dining and drinking experiences over a certain period. It is not possible to nominate your own bar or restaurant for any of the lists.

Further information on the 50 Best for Recovery programme

Which non-profit organisations will receive money from the 50 Best Recovery Fund?
50 Best has identified a number of organisations around the world that support restaurants and their staff, as well as feeding those in need. These include: Lee Initiative’s Restaurant Reboot Relief Programme, USA; Black Urban Growers, USA; Chefs for Spain, Spain; Nosso Prato, Brazil; Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund, South Africa; National Restaurant Association of India’s Feed the Needy, India; Horeca Next, Belgium; Associazione Italiana Ambasciatori del Gusto, Italy and Singapore Cocktail Bar Association, Singapore. In addition, the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC is donating to Social Gastronomy Movement, a global network of interconnected food communities and social organisations in 38 different countries that is aiming to provide 1 million meals to those most in need. For full information on these organisations, click here.

How are the funds split between non-profit organisations?
World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC is dividing the funds according to the type of non-profit organisation and individual need. The initial amounts distributed to each organisation are published on 50 Best's website.

Who is the main sponsor of the fund?
The 50 Best Recovery Fund was launched with the generous backing of founding donor S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. We are grateful to the support from all of our partners.

How can I donate to the 50 Best Recovery Fund?
For a minimum donation of $10 (£8), you can receive the exclusive e-cookbook, Home Comforts: simple lockdown recipes from the world’s best chefs and bartenders and contribute to the Recovery Fund in the process. In addition, the 50 Best Recovery Fund will remain open for direct donations until further notice.

What is the ‘Bid for Recovery’ Auction?
50 Best’s Bid for Recovery was an online auction of out-of-this-world gastronomic experiences and rare items donated by restaurants, bars and partner brands to raise money for the 50 Best Recovery Fund. Held from 3-12 July 2020, it was the biggest auction of its kind, with more than 160 lots available. Following the auction, 50 Best and its partners have raised more than US $1.23million to date for the Recovery Fund.

What is the 50 Best Recovery Summit?
In early October 2020, 50 Best will host a virtual Recovery Summit with a focus on exploring how the restaurant world can thrive once again. Set to comprise a range of events including masterclasses, talks, case studies, interviews and discussion forums, the Summit will gather the global gastronomic community together online to share learnings, promote best practices and explore visions of a post-pandemic world for restaurants and diners. Stay tuned for more details.

If you have any questions, please contact the 50 Best Team at