Diners might be the only kind of full-service restaurant where a bottle of ketchup on the table is not controversial; even if you’re the type of person who believes that putting it on a hot dog is a travesty, you can’t dispute the beauty that is crispy diner home fries slathered with a little (or a lotta) ketchup. Can you even picture a diner table that isn’t preset with the iconic Heinz ketchup bottle next to the salt and pepper shakers? Diners are an integral piece of American culture along with apple pie and Mickey Mouse, and like all independent restaurants, they are currently in danger of disappearing.
In an effort to save some of the country’s most ardent ketchup evangelists, Heinz has committed $1 million to a new initiative called Heinz for Diners, which will be giving out $2,000 grants to 500 qualifying diners to help them cover operating costs. To select which diners will receive a no-strings-attached check, Heinz is relying on the public, asking people to nominate their favorite diner on the Heinz for Diners website. To qualify, diners need to meet the following criteria:
- It must be an independently owned establishment, which is not a chain (a restaurant with three or more locations).
- It must be legally operating and have all of the proper documentation in place to serve food.
- The owner(s) must be able to provide a W-9 tax form before receiving funding
Nominations will remain open until 500 qualifying diners have been selected to receive a $2,000 check or through May 31.