Restaurateur researching the new restaurant revitalization fund

Grubhub’s guide to the restaurant revitalization fund

On March 11th, President Biden signed into law the 1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan, which will send much-needed aid to millions of Americans still struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan also includes a 28.6 billion dollar Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help support the food and drink service industry during this difficult time. Tom Bené, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, has called this fund a “catalyst to reviving restaurants and saving jobs across the country.” 

We have put together this guide to help restaurants navigate this new grant opportunity. 

What is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund?

Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, said this latest grant program is a “game-changer for people who depend on neighborhood restaurants and bars for their livelihood.” This critical game-changer of a grant will be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to eligible restaurants. 

The 25 billion dollar round of funding will be divided into government-funded grants with a maximum of 10 million dollars per restaurant group or 5 million dollars per individual restaurant location. To determine the total amount qualified businesses are eligible to receive, the SBA will subtract 2020 sales from 2019 revenues.  

During the March 24th Senate Small Business Committee, a top official with the Small Business Administration announced the agency planned to begin a “phased launch” in April, according to Politico Pro.

Who is eligible to receive a Restaurant Revitalization Fund?

According to the National Restaurant Associations Policy Brief, restaurant owners with 20 or fewer locations can apply for this critical revitalization grant. Within this program, 5 billion dollars in funding will be reserved for the smallest independent restaurants that earned 500,000 dollars or less in a year before COVID-19.

Eligible entities include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands
  • Food trucks
  • Food carts
  • Caterers
  • Saloons
  • Inns
  • Taverns
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Brewpubs
  • Tasting rooms
  • Taprooms
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste a sample or purchase products.
  • Similar businesses where the public assembles for the primary purpose of serving food or drinks, including establishments located in an airport terminal or tribally-owned.

During the initial 21-day period, the Small Business Association will prioritize marginalized and underrepresented communities, including women, veterans, and minority-owned entities. 

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is not eligible for publicly-traded companies, any business with more than 20 locations, or any business that has applied or received a Shuttered Venue Operations Grant.  

To qualify for this grant, businesses must submit a good faith certification that demonstrates they need the grant to support their ongoing operations due to the uncertainty of current economic conditions. 

What expenses will the grant cover?

According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, this first-of-its-kind grant program will provide debt-free support in the amount of annual revenue lost from 2019 and 2020. The grant can be used on eligible expenses, including: 

  • Payroll (excluding employee compensation exceeding $100,000/year), employee benefits, and paid sick leave 
  • Mortgage, rent, utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Supplies (PPE and Cleaning Products)
  • Food and beverages
  • Supplier costs and debt obligations
  • Outdoor seating construction
  • Operational expenses

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a critical step to supporting restaurants that have continued to serve their communities despite the catastrophic challenges of COVID-19.  

For the latest updates on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, sign up for the Independent Restaurant Coalitions email list and consult the Small Business Associations Coronavirus Relief Options website.

We’re in this together

From your favorite coffee shop to the neighborhood pizzeria, restaurants are the heart of our communities. Throughout these uncertain times, we must work together to help restaurants overcome the pandemic’s devastating impact on their businesses.

At Grubhub, we’ve made it our mission to support restaurants. Whether that support was by expanding our commission-free ordering solutions or helping restaurants develop safety measures to protect their staff and customers’ health, we are committed to supporting our restaurants and helping them thrive.  

Visit our COVID-19 resource center to learn more about our mission to support restaurants through this unprecedented time.

Note that this site is provided for informational purposes only.  We cannot provide you with legal advice and can’t be held responsible for actions you take on the basis of the information we have provided, so you should analyze the provisions carefully and if necessary consult your own advisor.