National culinary event continues to generate economic and social support for Black-owned businesses with coast-to-coast and international market expansion
Black Restaurant Week LLC, the organization that celebrates the flavors of African American, African and Caribbean cuisine with a series of regional cultural events, aims to quell the closures of black-owned culinary businesses across the United States. Since COVID-19, more than 100,000 U.S.-based restaurants have shuttered.
Black Restaurant Week’s No Crumb Left Behind campaign will assist Black-owned culinary businesses with complimentary marketing support to boost awareness in their respective regions. The systemic barriers faced by Black-owned restaurants, such as disproportionate access to business loans, demonstrates the importance of the campaign. These disparities have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic; 41% of Black-owned businesses have shuttered since February 2020 compared to 17% of white-owned businesses. *
Black Restaurant Week’s market expansion includes Toronto, the Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, Carolinas, and Southwest regions.
Black Restaurant Week was founded in 2016 by three friends: Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell and Derek Robinson. It began as a one-city food experience in Houston. The mission: celebrate African American, African, and Caribbean influences in the culinary industry, educate consumers on the abundance of cultural cuisines and dispel ethnic untruths. In 2020, the organization showcased 670 Black-owned culinary businesses across the United States and generated an average of 34% sales increase. Black Restaurant Week supports restauranteurs, bartenders, chefs, caterers, and food trucks.
2021 campaign initiatives and virtual events include, but are not limited to:
- Free entry-level business registration and inclusion in national culinary directory on Black Restaurant Week’s website
- Black-owned culinary marketplace retailing Black-owned curated food and houseware goods
- Aroma Culinary Business Conference a day-long business development conference
- Power of the Palate virtual national cocktail competition with Maker’s Mark
- NOSH Culinary Challenges include the “Vote or Pie” challenge and “The Pre-game” tailgate challenge engaging professional chefs and home cooks.
“The No Crumb Left Behind campaign is to ensure that we are helping as many culinary businesses stay afloat as the world recovers from the pandemic,” stated Derek Robinson, Black Restaurant Week Marketing Director. “We are adding more activations and working with additional partners to present programming to serve our full audience of restaurants, bakeries, caterers, chefs, and food trucks.”
This year’s corporate partners include Pepsi, Grubhub, Maker’s Mark, Stella Artois, and Bacardi. For more information about Black Restaurant Week, its events and participating restaurants, please visit: blackrestaurantweeks.com
*University of California, Santa Cruz, 2020
Source: Black Restaurant Week LLC