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Guy Fieri honors late friend Carl Ruiz by encouraging people to tip 'generously'

The chef is encouraging his followers to support local restaurants in Ruiz's honor.
/ Source: TODAY

It's been a year since chef Carl Ruiz died unexpectedly at the age of 44, and Guy Fieri is paying tribute to his friend in a pretty fitting way.

In a new Instagram video, the celebrity chef encourages fans to keep Ruiz's memory alive by taking part in a day of "Ruizing" on Monday.

"To celebrate 'The Great Cuban,' do what he did. He loved to go out and eat food and go to restaurants, and he used to love to tip big," Fieri says. "He was a big fan of the industry, always taking care of his brothers and sisters in the biz."

Fieri challenges his followers to support a local restaurant by dining in or ordering takeout/delivery on Monday, and encourages everyone to share a photo of their receipt and generous tip on social media using the hashtag #dontstopruizing.

The "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" star calls Ruiz "one of the greatest chefs, one of my best friends and one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life" and also shared a video the folks over at the app 8it created to promote the day of "Ruizing."

In the short clip, two men visit local restaurants and food trucks and leave behind generous tips. The video is set to the tune of the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" and swaps out the word "believin'" for "Ruizing."

"I miss him so much, but the way we can keep the memory alive is by celebrating him today and tomorrow and keep 'Ruizing,'" Fieri says.

Fieri's followers quickly filled the comments section with messages of support.

"Just set an annually-occurring #ruizing reminder. Miss his personality, and can’t imagine your pain. Looking forward to eating well and tipping even better (Monday)," one fan wrote, while another commented, "He left us way too soon. I miss seeing him on your shows. I will be supporting this."

Weelicious founder Catherine McCord chimed in, writing, "Love this SO much!!!" and chef Antonia Lofaso left behind several fire and heart emoji.

Many social media users answered Fieri's call to action and began posting photos of their generous tips. Some customers even decided to leave a tip the size of their actual bill.

Those who participated in the day of "Ruizing" spread the message by writing the hashtag #dontstopruizing on their bills.

Back in April, Fieri posted a nice message about Ruiz on what would have been his 45th birthday.

"You were a chef, friend, comedian, instigator, retaliator... lol, and the list goes on. Miss you Cuban, the world isn’t the same without you. #RIP my brutha," he wrote.

It's not the first time Fieri has worked to support restaurants during the pandemic. In April, he helped launch a relief fund for restaurant industry workers who have been laid off.