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The PCR SBDC Restaurant Academy is an intensive four-week program to help restauranteurs start and grow their restaurant business.

Start or Grow Your Restaurant, Food Truck or Pop-Up Today

Register below for one or more sessions in this series.

About the Restaurant Academy

The Restaurant Academy curriculum–designed and taught by PCR’s restaurant advisors Aja Beard and Celeste Young-Ramos–is available at no cost to LA County-based restaurant owners.

See the workshop schedule here.

Topics Include:

  • Food costs and planning
  • Food safety
  • New Health Department requirements
  • Human resources and management
  • Location and leasing
  • Customer service
  • Financing and accounting

What to Expect:

  • 10 engaging workshops  
  • Individual FREE consulting sessions with an SBDC advisor between classes
  • A custom actionable plan at the end of the series 
  • Preparation for lending, loan packaging assistance 
  • Networking with successful and growth-oriented restaurant owners

Upcoming Restaurant Academy Workshops

Monday, October 26

How To Pivot Successfully

Join PCR’s Restaurant Academy Launch as our team speaks to a panel of food business owners that have
pivoted successfully through COVID-19.  They will share their accomplishments, challenges and most important growth lessons that have kept their companies in business. Our featured guests include Kirstyn Shaw of “The Very Best Cookie In the Whole Wide World,” Martha Mendel of “Tacos Poncitlan” and Kim Prince of Hotville Chicken.

Tuesday, October 27

Know Your Numbers – Accounting for your Restaurant

A successful food service business, whether a food truck or restaurant, is a business built on providing excellent food, service, and sanitation while making a profit. During this presentation, you will be introduced to how to set up the financial foundations of a sustainable business, what numbers to monitor, systems to keep track of your results, and how to manage cash flow during a crisis.


Restaurant Business Planning

In this interactive workshop you will discover the essential components of a restaurant business plan to help increase your chances of success and present your plan to investors and financial institutions. Topics will cover concept creation, organizational structure, marketing plan and SWOT analysis, necessary operational considerations, and an overview of financial projections. Participants will receive a business plan template and can schedule one-on-one advisement sessions with one of our restaurant experts.


Business Permits and Licenses for Restaurants and Food Service Businesses

Not sure of the legal process to start your food service business? We’ve got you covered! We will provide a step-by-step process to register your fictitious business name, apply for a business license, Seller’s Permit, trademarks, and how to quickly and cost effectively obtain your health permit for operation. You will also learn about the required state business and food service training. Bring your questions, we’ve got answers.


HR Fundamentals for Your Restaurant Team

The most important asset of any business is your employees. As a new or existing restaurant operator, it is critical that you are knowledgeable of the local, state, and federal laws that protect your employees and if not followed can have a devastating impact on your bottom line. In this webinar, you will be introduced to the interviewing do’s and don’ts, basic labor laws, what is required in a new hire packet, and how to properly fill out the Form 1-9.


Restaurant Academy – Restaurant Food & Labor Cost 101

Food cost is one of the main keys to long-term restaurant success because of its direct impact on profitability. Join us as we review how to calculate food cost for individual menu items as well as weekly restaurant performance. In this class, you will also learn how to apply food cost to setting your menu pricing, its impact on your restaurant’s inventory, ordering, and waste. Labor costs account for at least a third of your restaurant’s expenses-managing labor efficiently will keep more money on your bottom line. The keys to your restaurant’s success will be a direct result of how well you can master these fundamentals.

About the Restaurant Academy Instructors

Aja Beard

Restaurant and Hospitality Advisor

Aja Beard is a native Angeleno and a UNLV Rebel. She has been in the Hospitality Industry for 25 years and spent 15 years managing and opening new restaurants. Her experience ranges from fine dining to quick service. She loves helping restaurants thrive.

Aja joined the PCR team as the Restaurant and Hospitality Advisor in April 2019. Her passion for restaurant efficiency and cleanliness can be seen when she teaches Food Cost 101 and ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification and training classes.

After graduating from UNLV with her Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration, Aja spent 14 years climbing the ladder in Las Vegas by working for some of the most prestigious companies on and off the Strip. She assisted with opening the fine-dining restaurant “Sensi” at the Bellagio Resort. She was the Hotel Manager at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino and later the Food Service Director for United Healthcare’s corporate cafe and catering with Aramark and Compass.

While living in LA she opened “Boca”, a fine-dining restaurant at The Conga Room in LA Live and was the General Manager of The Lab Gastropub, part of USC Hospitality. She most recently assisted owners Kim Prince and Greg Dulan with opening Hotville Chicken in the Crenshaw community. This restaurant has quickly become one of LA’s hottest new eateries serving up authentic Nashville Hot Chicken from a 90-year-old recipe.

Aja is excited to help PCR clients create the proper foundation for long term success in the unforgiving restaurant industry. Delicious food and excellent customer service are not the only winning ingredients for great restaurants; profitability and cleanliness are the silent partners that keep them in business!

Celeste Young-Ramos

Restaurant & HR Advisor

Celeste Young-Ramos, PHR-Ca, has a lifetime of restaurant leadership experience through restaurant ownership and large scale multi-unit restaurant operations, human resources, training, and franchise consulting at a top 30 Restaurant Chain.

She has been responsible for the operations of 50 domestic and international restaurants with annual sales of $90,000,000. In 2017, she founded Restaurant Success Center to help independent restaurant operators have the same resources and knowledge base that the large franchise restaurants enjoy.

Celeste possesses the Professional Human Resources-Ca Certification and is an expert in Harassment Prevention and Food Safety.