ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — DMV Black Restaurant Week is cooking up some exciting meals and deals to promote black-owned restaurants in the DMV area.
“Food brings us together, various cultures, and food also talks about your culture, in every bite,” said Furard Tate, Co-Founder of DMV Black Restaurant Week.
Tate and business partner Dr. Erinn Tucker decided to start the restaurant week in 2018, when the pair realized there wasn’t a platform to educate minority restaurant owners or promote their businesses.
“There were a lot of articles written about where are the black chefs, where are the black owners, restaurant owners, and we were like, ‘What are you talking about?,’ They’re here, it’s just that there was not a platform to be able to profile them,” said Tucker.
Over 70 restaurants are participating this year, including indoor dining, take-out and catering options. But an estimated 60% of black-owned businesses are closed in the U.S. due to COVID-19 — and the restaurants are offering discounts to attract customers.
“It is a discount for them to come in, so they can try different things at a package price, so it’s a three-course meal this year for thirty-five dollars,” said Mark Copanzzi, Director of Operations at Thompson Hospitality.
Safety is a top priority for these participating restaurants, following CDC guidelines, such as contactless ordering and staff wearing face masks and gloves.
In addition to the food deals, the event is also including a free virtual conference to educate those who want to become a restaurant owner – which includes resources and connections to the black-owned restaurant community.
“At our conference, we inspire, as well as inform people in the restaurant industry how to do it correctly,” said Tate.
And those participating are looking forward to serving the community for years to come.
“We’re going into our third year, so we’ve been partners with them every year, and we’re seeing it grow. So we’re really excited to be a sponsor this year,” said Copanzzi.
“I think it’s just a chance to just see some businesses thrive and grow, so it definitely means a lot,” said Chef Val Charles, Executive Chef at participating restaurant Hen Quarter.