Essential Covid-19 Resources for California Restaurants

Covid-19 resources for the restaurant industry in california

Essential Covid-19 Resources for California Restaurants

Understand the new color-coded reopening plan for California restaurants here.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of Covid-19 resources available for restaurants, bars and wineries who have been hit by the crisis. We’ve put together a list of government relief programs, information centers and community organizations – all Covid-19 resources to help you get through this crisis.

Coronavirus and California Restaurants: A Recap

covid 19 resources recap

The Covid-19 crisis has been a hell of a rollercoaster for the foodservice industry. In March, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all California residents to stay home and for all businesses to shut down. To survive, restaurants were forced to pivot to takeout and deliveries.

Two months later, in May, a reopening plan was announced that would allow restaurants to reopen dining rooms with modifications. But the industry was quickly forced to shut down again due to a second Covid-19 outbreak.

On August 31, Governor Newsom announced a new color-coded system that assigns California counties to tiers reflecting the severity of the outbreak. This new system is easier to understand and allows for a gradual and safe reopening.

Not sure you understand how the new color-coded plan works? Read this article and continue reading for Covid-19 resources.

What Restaurant Relief Programs Are Available to Me?

covid 19 resources for restaurants

There’s hardly a restaurant in the US that isn’t struggling financially this year. Go through this list of financial and regulatory relief programs to find the Covid-19 resources and support you need.

Relief from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

  • Temporary Catering Authorization: CRA is working with local governments to expand outdoor dining. ABC (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) created a new plan called “temporary catering authorization”, which will allow restaurants to serve alcohol outdoors. Sign up here.
  • Sales of Alcoholic Beverages To Go: ABC has suspended enforcement on several restrictions related to sales of alcoholic beverages To-Go. This means that certain alcohol licenses can sell beer, wine, and cocktails for pick-up or delivery.

Tax Deferrals and Relief

  • 90-day Extension: Governor Gavin Newsom issued an order that allows a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all restaurants filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.
  • State Payroll Taxes: Request up to a 60-day extension from the Employment Development Department to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
  • Federal Tax Relief: Tax filing deadline extended from April 15 to July 15. Restaurants can postpone tax payments due from the date of enactment until October 15, 2020 with no cap on the amount of payment postponed.

For Employers

  • The WARN Act: In March, the governor suspended the WARN Act, which requires employers to give an extended notice of a layoff in advance. This is important to employers who couldn’t give employees advance notice when the state shut down dining rooms.
  • The CARES Act: The CARES Act helps small businesses cope with the economic impact the coronavirus had on their survival and the lives of their employees. The law created tax relief and new loan programs.

SBA Loans and PPP

  • One of the plans of the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) It originally created a $349 billion program for the Small Business Administration to offer loans to small businesses (500 or fewer employees).

Where Can I Get Information and Advice on Restaurants?

Use these Covid-19 resources to find information on health and employment.

  • Industry guidance. This document is an employer playbook that provides guidance for employers to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. Here
  • Printable checklist. This checklist is intended to help dine-in restaurants implement their plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Here
  • CDC’s considerations for restaurants and bars
    offers ways for restaurant owners to protect employees, customers, and communities. Here
  • Employer playbook. Here.
  • SBA Coronavirus relief options. Here.
  • Restaurants Act. Here

Covid-19 Resources for San Francisco Restaurants

Every county has its own Covid-19 status and guidelines. Stay up to date on where your restaurant stands in terms of county, state and federal laws and restrictions with these San Francisco-specific Covid-19 resources and information.

  • SF Department of Public Health. Here.
  • San Francisco Key Public
  • Health Indicators. Here.
  • San Francisco COVID-19 Data and Reports. Here.

Community Efforts to Help Restaurants Get Through Covid-19

covid 19 resources for restaurants in san francisco foodgiving movement

While government/private funds and organizations play important roles in assisting restaurants, grassroots efforts are no less valuable. Here are some of the local community efforts and Covid-19 resources that look to help the people who need it the most during this pandemic.

The Food Giving Movement

Cheetah helps Bay Area communities by putting food on the table. They stock mobile fridges with food from their own warehouses and invite anyone who is hungry to take what they need at no cost.

Join us

Community Grocery Shopping 

group shopping cheetah

This Cheetah article explains how community grocery shopping helps high risk neighbors keep safe by joining their neighbors and ordering food delivery.

Shop for your community

SF Mutual Aid

SF mutual aid helps people in the SF Bay Area, who are affected by Covid-19 and need support. This includes people who’ve lost their income, have chronic illnesses, are immune-suppressed, or are otherwise high risk.

Sign up

SF Community Support

SF Community Support looks to help the most vulnerable in the SF community during the COVID-19 crisis by recruiting volunteers to help make deliveries or offer support.

Sign up

Oakland at Risk

A volunteer network that pairs up Oakland residents who are high-risk with volunteers who live in the same neighborhood. The volunteers help by picking up groceries and supplies for elderly and high-risk neighbors.


Berkeley Mutual Aid Network

Berkeley Mutual Aid pairs lower-risk neighbors with higher-risk neighbors who need essential supplies (e.g., food, toiletries, and prescriptions), help navigating social services, or connecting to overcome social isolation.


Find more Covid-19 resources, information and support at our blog.

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