Resilience Fund

$5,000 Grants for Independent Restaurants

The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund is accepting applications June 15-30, 2024. Independent restaurants and commercial caterers are invited to apply for $5,000 to build resilience – technology upgrades, equipment upgrades, employee training/retention, and unforeseen hardship. Let’s make restaurants more resilient!

We anticipate awarding $5,000 grants to 278 small businesses. We encourage you to apply! Please read the eligibility below.

A Relief Fund with Heart

Grants to 1,325 Restaurants (and counting!)

Since 2021, the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund has awarded $5.94 million in grants to 1,325 independent restaurants throughout California. That’s 1,325 burger joints, taquerias, bakeries, and more at the heart of our communities. 

Many of these restaurants represent family legacies and life-long dreams. The average time in business is 10 years and 92% are single unit restaurants. 66% of the restaurants are owned by women and 77% are owned by people of color. On average, each restaurant employs 11 people – that’s over 10,000 employees!

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 our fund for food and beverage workers click here.

Thank You to Our Funders

SoCalGas Logo
PG&E
SDGE Logo

Building Resilience

$5,000 Grants for:

– Kitchen Equipment

– Technology Upgrades

– Employee Training/Retention

– Unforeseen Hardship

 

Eligibility

Less than $3 million in annual revenue

Independent restaurant or commercial caterer with less than 5 units

Commercial customer of PG&E, SoCalGas, or SDG&E

Have been open for at least 1 year

Consideration for women + people of color

Spread the Word

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Meet the Fall 2023 Grantees!

182 independent restaurants each received a $5,000 build resilience within thier business. 

    Funding Categories

    • equipment upgrades – 41%
    • employee training/retention – 27%
    • technology updgrades – 19%
    • unforeseen hardship – 13%
      Chef Plating Food
      Chef Plating Food

      Fun Facts

      • 32 counties in CA respresented!
      • Woman-owned: 70%
      • Person of color-owned: 71%
      • Single unit: 85%
      • Full-service: 53%
      • The restaurants collectively employ 2,400 people
      Giving Crew

      How did this start?

      Restaurants Care, a program of the nonprofit California Restaurant Foundation, is a relief fund for food and beverage workers. We provide grants of up to $2,500 directly to cooks, servers, dishwashers and more when they face an unforeseen hardship.

      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. The Resilience Fund was born.

      What started as a response to the pandemic has evolved into a permanent fund to build resilience within our restaurant community. This dream was made possible by a coalition of funders who were truly partners in creating the Resilience Fund. Our deepest gratitude to SoCalGas, PG&E, and SDG&E.

      We love restaurants. We’re here to help. 

      Media Inquiries

      For media inquiries, please contact Powerhouse Communications
      Kathryn Kelly at kathryn@powerhousecomm.com

      Media Coverage

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      Contact Us

      Frequently Asked Questions

      FAQs

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      Who is eligible for this grant?

      • Independent restaurants or commercial caterers located in CA owned by a CA resident
      • Must be an independently-owned, for-profit business including sole proprietorships, LLC's or Corporations that are not publicly traded (not part of a large chain or franchise); nonprofits are not eligible to apply.
      • 1-5 units
      • Under $3 million in annual revenue (combined revenue for all units/concepts)
      • Have been open for at least one full year
      • Currently open
      • Commercial customer of PG&E, SoCalGas, or SDG&E. You must upload a utility bil that says "commercial customer".
      • 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 the Resilience Fund in the past, you are eligbile to apply again. 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.

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      Which types of businesses are ineligible to apply?

      We don't want you to waste your time! Here are examples of businesses that are not eligible:

      • Meal prep companies
      • Home based food companies
      • Food trucks
      • Nonprofits
      • Businesses in Long Beach (must be a customer of SoCalGas)

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      When can I apply?

      Applications are accepted June 15-30, 2024

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      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.

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      I've received a grant before, can I apply again?

      You are welcome to apply, however priortiy will be given to those who have not received a grant yet. It is very rare to receive a second grant, and unlikely you will be selected.

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      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.

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      If I received a grant, when can I expect the check?

      Checks will be mailed to the address you included on your application in late August.

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      Is it first come first serve?

      No. All submitted applications will be reviewed.

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      How do 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.

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      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.
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      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.

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      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.
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      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.
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      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

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      Are food trucks eligible for funding?

      Food trucks are NOT eligible. This has to do with restrictions on donations we receive.

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      Are nonprofits that have a kitchen eligible to apply?

      Unfortunately, no. This fund is designed to uplift small businesses.

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      Can catering companies apply?

      Yes! Commercial caterers (it must say "commercial" on your utlity bill that you submit) are eligible to apply.

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      How can I contact you if I have questions?

      Please email us at resilience@restaurantscare.org.