Diversifying Revenue to Promote Resilience: Introducing the Accelerator for Local Restaurants Live and Local Series Participants

Entrepreneurs in Twin Cities and Washington, DC to receive revenue diversification education and mentorship, financial support.

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By Henry Martes, Manager, Caridad Restaurant and previous DoorDash Accelerator for Local Restaurants participant.

Since Caridad Williamsbridge opened its doors at Westchester square in the Bronx, we’ve served New Yorkers the food they love through good times and bad. The key to our longevity has been finding ways to grow and evolve for the customers who rely on us – especially as the world changes. 

In 2023, in the face of rising inflation and economic headwinds, we sought new ways to grow our business, and we were fortunate to be selected to participate in DoorDash’s 2023 Accelerator for Local Restaurants. The Accelerator provided us the education and resources to anticipate changes in our industry and the financial support we needed to adapt for the next chapter of our story. 


Just some of Caridad Restaurant’s delicious cuisine.

Every entrepreneur knows that ensuring you can pay bills, grow your business, and evolve in a changing industry is as important as it is difficult. Unexpected changes, from inflation to customer tastes, can disrupt growth and make it hard to keep the doors open. Restaurant owners are responding to these pressures by focusing on innovation and expansion, with recent research by Square finding 90% of restaurant owners intend to launch new revenue streams outside their core offerings this year, compared to 43% in 2023 and 34% in 2022. 

These and other challenges were what led us to partner with DoorDash in 2019: we needed to reach new customers and serve existing customers who couldn’t make it to our restaurant. Delivery allowed us to meet the demand. Staying ahead of trends and diversifying how we make money has helped us plan with confidence and weather the unexpected.

As part of our participation in the Accelerator, we started bottling our popular sauces and launched liquor sales with a new marketing strategy. The Accelerator program was instrumental in helping us innovate and feel comfortable taking a risk. Now, we offer our customers the experience they know and love, while our bottled sauces help them keep a piece of us at home to make any meal they’d like more flavorful. We’re better off and more financially resilient because we’ve found new ways to serve the people whose lives our restaurant touches. 

We’re proud to be part of the 200+ restaurateurs from 9 cities who have completed the Accelerator for Local Restaurants since 2021 through cohorts in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, and Portland, guided by some of the industry’s most recognized entrepreneurs and chefs. This community continues to be a network of support even after the conclusion of the Accelerator, strengthening connections and helping us thrive.

I’m honored to introduce the newest Accelerator for Local Restaurants participants, all based in the Twin Cities and Washington, D.C. The list includes entrepreneurs who operate from brick-and-mortar restaurants, food trucks, food stalls, and community kitchens: 

Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN

Washington, DC

This group of entrepreneurs with big professional ambitions includes: 

  • 66% of participants identifying as women;

  • 49% identifying as an immigrant or refugee; 

  • 80% of participants identifying as Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, Black or African American; and

  • Businesses seeking to expand through introducing a packaged product (26%), catering/events (23%), or opening a new location (17%).

In addition to “live and local” programming that will help the newest cohort develop revenue diversification strategies, provided by DoorDash and Bridge for Billions, these entrepreneurs will each receive a grant of $5,000 and personalized, one-on-one guidance and mentorship to help them implement their learnings. 

I’m excited to see how the newest Accelerator cohort diversifies their offerings - from local restaurants to food stalls that are becoming fast favorites - and look forward to welcoming them to the Accelerator alumni community in a few short months.