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National Restaurant Association - D.C. serves up 1st Black Restaurant Week

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D.C. serves up 1st Black Restaurant Week

Pictured, above, from left to right are Black Restaurant Week founders Furard Tate, Erinn Tucker and Andra Johnson (Courtesy KTG Photography)

Restaurateurs in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia have joined forces to celebrate the District’s first-ever Black Restaurant Week, which started Nov. 4 and runs through Nov. 11.

Black Restaurant Week will highlight culinary and bar talent as well as restaurants operated by African-American and Black chefs and owners in the D.M.V. In addition, several restaurants will offer discounted lunch menus and prix fixe dinners. The weeklong event will also feature educational programming to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs navigate potential business challenges.

More than three dozen restaurants, bars, coffee shops and catering companies will participate in this year’s event, sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and the Department of Small & Local Business Development. Its focus: showcase the work of African-American restaurant and hospitality operators and interest the next generation in pursuing rewarding careers in the industry. According to the latest National Restaurant Association research, African-Americans and Blacks make up 8 percent of the industry’s restaurant owners and managers.

Participating restaurants this year include Ben’s Chili Bowl, The Caged Bird, Halfsmoke, Hen Quarter and Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro.

The brainchild of bar consultant Andra “AJ” Johnson, Georgetown University Professor Erinn Tucker and restaurateur Furard Tate, Black Restaurant Week will share information about job and career opportunities for African-Americans in the restaurant and foodservice industry. It also will host several special events, such as a “SheChef” conversation focusing on women chefs and business owners in the industry, a cocktail competition and a celebration of local operators during an awards presentation.

The main event of Black Restaurant Week will be The Business of Food and Beverage Education Conference, a Nov. 10 business conference that will teach attendees about entrepreneurship, financing, running a business and reimagining the workforce culture.

Members of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, a sponsor of Black Restaurant Week, will attend the Saturday conference to talk about the organization’s Apprenticeship, ProStart and Restaurant Ready programs.

Learn more about The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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