The grantees will also receive year-long restaurant support services, according to the organization, which includes peer-to-peer mentorship and educational learning opportunities designed to equip them with the tools they need for growth and long-term success. This portion will be funded by Wells Fargo.
Among the local recipients are Doggos Gus, a gourmet hot dog spot in Imperial Beach; Petite Madeline Bakery, a bakery and bistro in Oceanside; Nomad Donuts, an innovative donut and breakfast/lunch eatery in North Park; The Cat Cafe, a Downtown bistro where patrons can eat and potentially adopt a cat; and StreetCar Merchants, a fried chicken Southern food place also in North Park.
The restaurants join 318 owners, operators and fellow grant recipients from eight counties across the state.
This is good news for local operators as the restaurant industry has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Any amount helps,” said Dr. Allen Chan, founder of Jasmine Seafood Restaurant, an authentic dim sum location in Kearny Mesa which also received funding. “It can help us pay some bills and expenses, like the electricity bills and others. I’m definitely very impressed to see these organizations supporting us as well as corporations stepping up to support these projects. We are very grateful that they are helping us out.”
The California Restaurant Foundation launched the Resilience Fund in March of 2020 in partnership with SoCalGas, PG&E and SDG&E, who collectively donated $1.25 million to fund grants to small restaurants. A portion of the donations went to California Restaurant Foundation’s hardship fund for food and beverage workers who have fallen on hard times.
65% Female Restaurant Owners
Of the 318 grant recipients, 65% are female restaurant owners and 83% identify as people of color, according to data provided by the California Restaurant Foundation. Together, more than 130 grants were given in Los Angeles County, 77 in San Diego County, 62 in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, 29 in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties and 18 in Fresno and Kern Counties.
To qualify, restaurants had to be single-unit, employ fewer than 50 staffers, be currently open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019 to 2020, according to the organization.
Founded in 1981, the California Restaurant Foundation is a non-profit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurants and its workforce. Inspired by a restaurant worker that was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident in 2015, Restaurants Care was created in 2017 by the foundation as a safety-net for restaurant workers. Over the past year, the program has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers, their families and businesses.
The California Restaurant Foundation launched the Resilience Fund under the Restaurants Care division in March in response to COVID-19. Grants given should be used on payroll and related expenses, according to its guidelines.
The Resilience Fund is currently accepting additional support from corporations, foundations and individuals who want to step up and help restaurant operators in need and in the overall recovery of the industry.