The California Restaurant Foundation’s (CRF) $1.5 million Restaurants Care Resilience Fund, financed by California energy companies and Wells Fargo, has proudly awarded $3,000 grants and year-long business support services to 356 independent restaurants throughout the state. CRF, known for investing in and empowering California restaurants and their workforce, has partnered for the second year in a row with SoCalGas, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and Wells Fargo to deliver a business-saving program that provides grants to help California’s independent restaurant owners invest in the longevity of their business and employees.


“The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected our small business customers in the food service industry, and we know that many California restaurants are still trying to bounce back,” said Carla Peterman, PG&E’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer. “We’re grateful to partner once again with the California Restaurant Foundation to invest in our hometown restaurants’ kitchens and crews through the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund.”


With investment and long-term financial health the focus of this year’s fund, recipients can use their $3,000 grants for equipment upgrades and employee retention bonuses, both of which have been put on the backburner for the last two years due to increased debt, losses and costs. The year-long support services from Wells Fargo provide restaurant owners with resources to enhance and streamline their business, including monthly Zoom trainings with fellow grant recipients and a complimentary membership to the California Restaurant Association.


“We are proud to support California Restaurant Foundation for a second consecutive year to expand and underwrite the year-long business support services provided to all Resilience Fund recipients,” said Jim Foley, EVP of the Pacific region of Wells Fargo. “In order to create a sustainable, vibrant and diverse culinary community, it is important to ensure independent restaurant owners are set up to achieve long-term success. The goal of our support services is to aid the industry’s recovery by equipping restaurant owners with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive for years to come.”


Of the 356 grant recipients, 162 restaurants are in SoCalGas’ coverage area, 144 in PG&E’s and 50 in SDG&E’s. 72 percent of grant winners are female restaurant owners and 83 percent identify as people of color. The average time in business is 9.7 years, with nearly 80 restaurants operating for more than two decades. To qualify, the restaurants needed to have no more than – three units and not exceed $3 million in revenue. To see the full list of grant recipients in your area, please visit www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.


“Independent and locally owned restaurants are the backbone of so many communities – they welcome and accommodate our first dates, post-game celebrations and the many times we just don’t feel like cooking. They add vibrancy and uniqueness to every city, which is why the Resilience Fund is so important,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF. “Restaurant owners have worked tirelessly over the last two years to keep doors open and feed their community, and we’re grateful to SoCalGas, PG&E, SDG&E and Wells Fargo for recognizing that it’s  critical to continue to support and invest in local restaurants.”


The Resilience Fund is currently accepting additional support from corporations, foundations and individuals who want to invest in California’s vibrant restaurant community. Donations of all sizes are accepted and celebrated at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.


For more information about the California Restaurant Foundation, Restaurants Care, or the Resilience Fund, please visit www.restaurantscare.org.


About the California Restaurant Foundation (CRF):

California is home to more than 90,000 eating and drinking places that ring up more than $72 billion in sales and employ more than 1.6 million workers, making restaurants an indisputable driving force in the state’s economy. The California Restaurant Foundation is a non-profit that empowers and invests in California’s restaurant workforce. Founded in 1981, CRF supports the restaurant community through relief grants for restaurant workers facing a hardship, job and life skills training for 13,500 high school students each year, and scholarships. For more information visit www.calrestfoundation.org.