SBDC Restaurant Program


You Know Food. We Know Business.

The Northern California Small Business Development Center’s Restaurant Program is here to support start up and existing restaurants and food businesses through one on one advising, training and resources. Our goal is to help you start your business and to provide ongoing support to grow your business.

Louise Dawson, Restaurant Program Manager | 707.567.6739

Nicole Spurr, Restaurant Program Coordinator | 707.689.8761

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  • 353
  • 1,902
  • 41
statistics as of 11/2020

How We Help:

We can help your business with general guidance as well as food, restaurant, and hospitality industry specifics. Here’s a list of the type of help clients may receive:

  • Cottage Food Business
  • Buy a business/business acquisition
  • Start a food business
  • Pitch decks and financials
  • Access to capital
  • Branding and marketing
  • Permits and Design
  • Equipment and operations
  • Menu development
  • Selling on Amazon
  • Beverage programs
  • Artisan and Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Food Trucks and Mobile Food
  • Hospitality Training

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How we Work:

Restaurant Program offers one on one advising, webinars and trainings for small businesses, and a full suite of specialized services tailored to the food industry, including restaurants, mobile food, artisan food, CPG (consumer packaged goods) and more — at no cost. Our program was built to serve entrepreneurs and small businesses with the nuts to bolts resources of the restaurant, food, and hospitality industry. Our advisors offer services in English, Spanish, French and Vietnamese.

One on One Advising

All of our advisors specialize in unique areas of the food industry.  You will be paired with a specialist who will support you, one on one, to chart a course to help you open, expand your business and to provide you with resources to help navigate a constantly changing economy.

Our Programs:

Our industry focused programs include an Artisan Food Incubator and CPG Online Program -  a 4-part series on starting an artisan or packaged food business, a Foodpreneur Cohort, a 10-week accelerator program where food business startups attend weekly webinars, meet with their advisors and learn how to start a food business, write a pitch deck and financials and learn to pitch their business concept, and more.

Online Exclusive Webinars

Here are a few more topics we cover in our workshops below:

  • Attend live webinars and trainings on a vast number of topics
  • Access our learning webinar library
  • Attend one of our programs:
    • Artisan Food Incubator
    • Cottage Food Training
    • Food Truck Incubator
    • Foodpreneur Pitch Deck Cohort ~ a 10 week accelerator program
    • Marketing Bootcamp

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What clients say about Restaurant Group:

“Throughout this whole process [opening Burgerim], the only ones that were there to help me through were the SBDC! Mani and Germain have been wonderful.”

Diane Long co-owner of BurgerIM, Dixon

bugerIM Logo

“Louise took our business plan from three to 52 pages. She made us dig deep and it helped us improve our vision so when COVID hit, we had already explored different lines of revenue and were ready to activate.”

Hella Nuts, Oakland

Hella Nuts Logo

27 Jan

Marketing and Branding Food Business Incubator - 5 Part Series

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
28 Jan

Starting a Food Truck Business: How the Rubber Meets the Road

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
02 Feb

Food Truck & Mobile Food Incubator- Session ONE

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
03 Feb

Marketing and Branding Food Business Incubator

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
04 Feb

Food Truck & Mobile Food Incubator- Session TWO

Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
08 Feb

Taking Your Artisan Food Business to the Next Level

Monday, February 8, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
09 Feb

Food Truck & Mobile Food Incubator- Session Three

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
11 Feb

Food Truck & Mobile Food Incubator-Session Four

Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
18 Feb

Cottage Food Webinar: 2 Part Series- Session One

Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
22 Feb

Checklist to Opening a Restaurant - Part One

Monday, February 22, 2021 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
24 Feb

Checklist to Opening a Restaurant - Part Two

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
25 Feb

Cottage Food Webinar: 2 Part Series- Session Two

Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
01 Mar

Your Customer Experience in the New Dine In Reality

Monday, March 1, 2021 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
04 Mar

Social Media Tips and Tricks for Food Businesses

Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
08 Mar

Como Abrir un Negocio de Alimentos ~ Como Navegar el Sistema

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
10 Mar

Restaurant Financial Bootcamp- 4 Part Series

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 1:30pm


As concerns continue about coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re here to help you navigate available resources, answer your business questions and be a trusted partner for your business
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.