(Washington, DC) – This week, the Bowser Administration will celebrate DMV Black Restaurant Week with the co-founders of DMV Black Restaurant Week (Furard Tate, Dr. Erinn Rucker, and Andra “AJ” Johnson). Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed November 8-15 as DMV Black Restaurant Week in Washington, DC, encouraging the community to support restaurants and foodservice providers. The Bowser Administration will highlight how Black-owned restaurants and foodservice providers supported the community by providing meals to seniors and first responders during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Black-owned restaurants and foodservice providers have been disproportionally affected by the onset COVID-19, and DMW Black Restaurant Week is a great opportunity for DC residents and visitors to support these businesses safely by ordering ‘to-go’ and dine-in,” said Shawn Townsend, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture.
DMV Black Restaurant Week’s mission is to support and sustain Black-owned businesses in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry through professional development and continuing education. This week increases the awareness of Black-owned restaurants and foodservice providers by creating an ecosystem to support and sustain the community. DMV Black Restaurant Week will host its annual Food and Beverage Education Conference, a five-day virtual conference from November 10-14. The Food and Beverage Education Conference is a learning opportunity for all that provides courses in culture, education, and good food. For more information, visit dmvbrw.com.
The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development provided $15,000 in funding to support DMV Black Restaurant Week’s Food and Beverage Education Conference, professional development opportunities for businesses, and resources for Black restaurants and foodservice providers.
“The District’s black-owned restaurants and foodservice providers are pivotal to the vibrancy of our economy, said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Our support of Black Restaurant Week is about fostering the sustainability of some of our favorite businesses and adds to the initiatives we have launched to ensure our businesses can thrive beyond this pandemic.”
In 2018, DMV Black Restaurant Week was an inaugural grantee of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs through the African American Community Grant. DMV Black Restaurant Week supported more than 500 business-owners, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and residents. DMV Black Restaurant Week promoted local black-owned businesses, provided resources, and networking opportunities for industry professionals. Black business owners were provided with entrepreneurial resources, mentorship opportunities, operational best-practices, and access to capital. DMVBRW organized a week of activities intended to connect consumers to black-owned restaurants, food trucks, carry-outs, and cafes that were unknown. DMVBRW held mixers, panels, and a day-long conference.
“Black-owned restaurants and foodservice providers continue to be critical to the vibrancy of our local economy and culinary landscape,” said Rev. Thomas Bowen, Director of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs. “DMV Black Restaurant Week is supporting Black restaurant owners and food providers by providing resources, information, and training.”
The Business of Food & Beverage Education Conference was held at the UDC Student Center on Saturday, November 10, 2018. The conference provided information to new hospitality businesses and entrepreneurs and continuing education for industry professionals. There were several panels led by industry experts that addressed the industry’s stereotype, their journey as professionals, and they provided the direction of how to overcome adversity. The panel discussed how they began and scaled their business, creating the opportunity to build generational wealth. Chefs discussed the knowledge gap for chefs to compete in the industry, opportunities for continuing education, and the importance of traveling. Conference attendees learned about the importance of customer service, best practices for training employees, and the importance of engagement for entrepreneurs. The panelists discussed and shared suggestions for workplace culture, employee safety, harassment, and how to retain employees.