Black Restaurant Week Begins Friday

CHARLOTTE, NC. — An Ironman athlete Zsa-Zsa Porter was, always wanting something healthy after a big race. The inspiration for opening her restaurant Exposed Vegan on west boulevard last January. Opening during the pandemic was a struggle, she says.

“I really wanted to help people of color, just as a community, get healthier,” Porter says

Porter is one of the many restaurant owners in Charlotte participating in Black Restaurant Week. According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 500,000 restaurants and bars are faced with an uncertain future due to lost revenue and increased debt over the past 22 months. 1.1 million minority-owned businesses often face heightened challenges and disparities when securing business funding.

“During the time, we were noticing that African-Americans were really the ones that were suffering quite a bit during the pandemic, and we’re having trouble creating healthy options.”

Most businesses do not have marketing and advertising dollars to promote their business. It’s why Black Restaurant Week started. Building community awareness to increase their bottom line, says co-founder Derek Robinson.

Last year, the organization supported 1200 Black-owned culinary businesses across the United States, generating an average of 15% sales increase.

BRW begins on Friday and ends on Sunday.