From Staff reports
NASHVILLE, TN — ‘Black Restaurant Week’ continues here through Sunday, according to Epicurions and local restaurant advocates.
The 10-days of Black Restaurant Week celebrate the flavors of African, African-American and Caribbean cuisine, Black Restaurant Week Marketing Director Derek Robinson said.
The ‘No Crumb Left Behind’ campaign is “helping as many culinary businesses stay afloat as the world recovers from the pandemic,” Robinson said.
Meanwhile, “The systemic barriers faced by Black-owned restaurants — such as disproportionate access to business loans — demonstrates the importance of Black Restaurant Week LLC,” promotion managers reported May 11. “These disparities have only grown with the COVID-19 pandemic; 41% of Black-owned businesses have shuttered since February compared to 17% of white-owned businesses,” restaurant advocates said, citing a 2020 report from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
The first of this year’s national series of Black restaurant promotions started here in Music City USA about the time pandemic mask rules changed and dining out became more inviting. Gov. Bill Lee had just rescinded his authorization of local leaders’ authority to require masks. During the 10-day promotion, the Centers for Disease Control announced that fully-vaccinated people don’t have to wear a mask.
Black Restaurant Week LLC exists to enhance the food service industry. Its services extend to food trucks and bakeries. The industry service-group has highlighted culinary businesses in Houston, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, and Atlanta.
The organization will continue its efforts to support as many businesses as possible this year by highlighting Black restaurants, food trucks and bakeries, according to an announcement from the promotional service.
“The campaign this year is putting an emphasis on reviving and saving the black restaurant industry during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the business said. “The platform also serves as an educational tool to help show consumers the abundance of cultural cuisines in their local community and dispels ethnic untruths.”
Black Restaurant Week LLC also reports the following:
During Black Restaurant Week, foodies, culinary influencers, locals, and guests will be treated to prix fixe brunch, lunch, and dinner menus at participating restaurants.
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.
This year, in a time of financial uncertainty and with the unfortunate escalation of racial injustice incidents, Black Restaurant Week has waived the financial participation fee for all restaurants.
Nashville is recognized as a leading culinary destination with flavors from the African diaspora making a significant contribution to the local food scene. On behalf of local restaurant owners, executive chefs and catering companies, Black Restaurant Week savors every moment when highlighting each participant’s legacy.
Created in Texas by founder Warren Luckett and co-founders Falayn Ferrell and Derek Robinson, Black Restaurant Week LLC’s first promotion was in Houston during 2016.
The culinary promotion agency has expanded to other nations and continues to serve nearly 670 minority businesses and professionals in the United States. Black Restaurant Week LLC described its founders as “friends who assist in creating financial solutions for Nashville-based, black-owned culinary businesses due to systematic barriers and beyond the pandemic.”
This year’s palate-pleasing showcase started in Nashville on Friday, May 14, with an anticipated conclusion on Sunday night, May 23.
This year’s corporate partners include Pepsi, Grubhub, Maker’s Mark, Stella Artois, and Bacardi. Black Restaurant Week, is on the web at blackrestaurantweeks.com.
Black Restaurant Week is also celebrating an anniversary. Since 2016, it has annually furthered its multi-city culinary movement of community and culture as it relates to supporting Black-owned businesses and talent within the food and beverage industries.
Few businesses have in-house marketing or public relations offices, but the need to advertise — to grow business — remains unabated. With need being the mother of invention, Black Restaurant Week LLC. was developed to accomplish that through a mutually beneficial agreement to increase profits and collectively shine a light on minority businesses since they’re the building blocks of community awareness.
“We had phenomenal success last year with the regional campaigns and wanted to continue that model to help businesses nationwide,” Black Restaurant Week Founder Warren Luckett said. “There were many testimonials from restaurant participants on how this campaign helped keep their doors open.”