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

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“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

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21 Apr

Food Manufacturing 101- 2 Part Webinar

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
28 Apr

Food Manufacturing 101- 2 Part Webinar

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
05 May

Restaurants Pivoting to the New To Go and Delivery Model

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm


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.