New Grant Funding for Restaurants in April 2023
$5,000 grants available for independent restaurants April 15 – May 7. Please sign up below to receive alerts and updates about this fund. Funding for grants made possible by SoCalGas, PG&E, and SDG&E.
A Relief Fund with Heart
Grants to 788 Independent Restaurants
With this additional funding from PG&E, the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund will have provided grants to 788 independent restaurants (318 in 2021, 356 in the Spring of 2022, and 114 in the Fall of 2022). That’s 788 burger joints, taquerias, bakeries, and more that got a boost when they needed it most.
In 2022, the fund is focused on supporting two things that keep a restaurant running – kitchens and crews. Grant funds, powered by substantial donations from SoCalGas, PGE&E, and SDG&E can be used to invest in equipment upgrades or retention bonuses.
Many of these restaurants represent family legacies and life-long dreams. The average time in business is 9.7 years, with nearly 80 restaurants operating for more than two decades. To see the full list of our 2022 grant recipients so far click here.
And we’re not stopping there! Wells Fargo is powering one year of small business support services for the restaurants. Monthly trainings, discounts, and access to experts will build long-term resilience for our restaurant community.
Restaurants Care was created in 2017 as a safety-net for food and beverage workers, and that hasn’t stopped! Year-round we help the servers, cooks, and dishwashers at the heart of restaurants. To learn more about hardship grants for food and beverage workers click here.
Thank You to Our Funders
What resilience looks like
Grants for kitchen equipment or retention bonuses
A safety-net for crew members
Free support services
who is eligible
2022 Fall Cycle Eligibility
Customer of PG&E
Located in CA
< $3 million in annual revenue
Open for at least one full year
Consideration given to women + people of color
What do grants cover?
Kitchens and crews keep restaurants running – let’s make them more resilient!
In 2022, the Resilience Fund is investing in the two things that keep a restaurant running—kitchens and crews. Grants are awarded to restaurants for kitchen equipment upgrades or retention bonuses.
How to Apply
Applications accepted Apr. 15 – May 7, 2023
We know you have a lot on your plate. This application should only take 30 minutes to complete. The online application can be done on your phone and document upload can be images (cell phone photos).
More than Money
We are committed to long-term success and resilience. Restaurants that received a grant from the Resilience Fund have been welcomed into a cohort and receive one year of support services and resources to improve their businesses for the long-term.
Small Business Support Services
membership to the CRA
access to experts
Meet the 2022 Restaurant Grantees
a bit about the restaurants
Of the restaurant grantees….
- 52% are full-service restaurants
- 72% are women
- 83% are people of color
- 49% will use the grant for kitchen upgrades and 51% will use the grant for retention bonuses
- The most in-demand kitchen equipment? Ovens! 32% of those who selected “kitchen equipment” will use the funds to buy ovens.
- 1,211 hard-working employees will receive retention bonuses!
- 92% of the restaurants are single-unit and 8% have 2-3 units.
- The oldest restaurant is Phoenix Bakery in LA’s Chinatown (84 years!!).
How did this start?
Restaurants Care is a relief fund for California food and beverage workers launched in 2017. We provide direct assistance when cooks, servers, dishwashers and more face unforeseen hardship. When the pandemic hit, we mobilized quickly to support 1,200 workers and their families.
Given the extraordinary circumstances brought on by the pandemic, we recognized a need to go further and help restaurant businesses stay open and keep their crews employed.
This dream was made possible by a coalition of funders who were truly partners in creating the Resilience Fund. Our deepest gratitude to lead funder SoCalGas and generous funders PG&E, SDG&E and Wells Fargo.
We love restaurants. We’re here to help.
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Frequently Asked Questions
When can I apply?
The 2023 spring application cycle will be April 15 – May 7. We will have a fall cycle in October. Check back for exact dates.
Can I apply for both the spring and fall cycles?
You are welcome to apply for both grant cycles in 2023. However, you may only receive one grant per calendar year.
If I received a grant, when can I expect the check?
Checks will be mailed to the address you included on your application in June 2023.
How does this fund help f+b workers?
Great question! Of the funds we have to grant out, 5% will go to the Restaurants Care relief fund for food and beverage workers. This is our way of building a holistic recovery. Grants for restaurants, small business support services, and grants for workers. Workers do not have to be employed at one of the restaurants receiving relief funding. Any f+b worker in CA can apply for help at www.restaurantscare.org.
Who is eligible to receive a grant for the Fall Cycle?
- Restaurants located in CA owned by a CA resident
- Independent restaurants (not part of a large chain or franchise)
- 1-5 units
- Under $3 million in annual revenue (combined revenue for all units/concepts)
- Have been open for at least one full year
- All restaurants that meet the above criteria are eligible and encouraged to apply, additional consideration is given to restaurants owned by women and people of color.
- If you received a grant from teh Resilience Fund in 2021 or 2022, you are eligbile to apply this year. Howeer, priority will be given to those who have not received funding from us in the past.
- Note: members of the STATE boards of the California Restaurant Association and California Restaurant Foundation are not eligible.
Is it first come first serve?
No. All submitted applications will be reviewed. In the case we have more qualified applicants than funding, we will do a lottery draw to determine grant awards.
How did you determine grant approval?
Completed applications that meet eligibility requirements are reviewed and scored on a rubric created by a task force of the California Restaurant Foundation.
Do you have to be a CRA member to apply?
Nope! Membership to the California Restaurant Association is not considered as part of the application or selection process.
Why do you need a personal statement and photo?
Restaurants Care is not a financial institution or government agency. We’re a community nonprofit with heart! We are doing everything we can to help restaurants and their crews. Your story helps us know you better. We share stories and photos to show donors the impact of their donation and to bring new champions to our work.
Can restaurants be closed at the time of application?
No. Restaurants must be open for business to be eligible for this grant. Modified business operations such as take-out and delivery only are okay.
How can grants be used?
The $5,000 grant can used for kitchen equipment, technology upgrades, employee training or retention bonuses, or unforeseen hardship.
- Kitchen equipment: Eligible equipment must be energy efficient and qualify for rebates (Hey! That’s extra money to help pay for your equipment!). Items include: steamer, rack oven, conveyor broiler, combination oven, conveyor oven, fryer, underfired broiler, convection oven, griddle, and dishwasher. You can use your $5,000 check to purchase from whichever vendor you would like. To learn more about rebates available, visit https://caenergywise.com/instant-rebates/
- Technology upgrades: Eligible uses include POS system, website, accounting software, HR software, inventory management, and loyalty programs.
- Employee training: Been meaning to elevate your employee training and systems? Use this grant to design a training program/handbook, purchase ServSafe trainings, or join the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers.
- Retention bonuses: Reward your best and brightest employees. You will need to state how many employees will receive grants and which positions they have (front of house, back of house, managers). The number of employees and positions do NOT impact your likelihood of getting a grant, we simply want to know how the funds will be used.
- Unforeseen hardship: Within the last 12 months, has your restaurant experienced robbery/theft, vandalism, fire/flood, or natural disaster? This grant can help.
Do I have to pay this back?
No! This is not a loan. But you do need to recognize it as revenue, and you should consult with your accountant on any filing required.
Are gifts to the Resilience Fund tax-deductible?
Yes! The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund is a program of the California Restaurant Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit that has been serving our restaurant community since 1981. Our agency ID is 95-3676330. You can donate to the fund here or mail a check to California Restaurant Foundation, Resilience Fund, 621 Capitol Mall, Suite 2000, Sacramento, CA 95814
Are food trucks eligible for funding?
Unfortunately not at this time. Our current funding comes from utility companies so applicants must be a customer of SoCalGas, PG&E or SDG&E. We will update this page if that changes.
Are nonprofits that have a kitchen eligible to apply?
Unfortunately, no. This fund is designed to uplift small businesses.
Can catering companies apply?
Only brick-and-mortar restaurants taht are open to the public, serve both food and beverage, and have regular operating hours are eligible for this grant. Companies that only do catering are not eligible.
How can I contact you if I have questions?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.