While the COVID pandemic hit everyone hard, Black-owned businesses had to fight especially hard to stay afloat.
The restaurant industry has some of the most narrow profit margins of any industry, and Black-owned restaurants in many communities cater to families with low and moderate incomes.
Take for instance a Houston-based, family-owned restaurant, The Breakfast Klub. It opened in 2001 as a casual, family-style restaurant inspired by the founder’s experience working for his father’s catering business. With just two menu items initially, the restaurant has blossomed into a thriving establishment with outstanding food. The Breakfast Klub has been recognized as one of the best breakfast restaurants in America by USA Today, Esquire, Forbes and ABC’s Good Morning America.
This acclaimed restaurant is a point of pride for the Houston community.
To help establishments like the Breakfast Klub weather the pandemic, Black Restaurant Week was relaunched in a nationwide effort in 2020. Communities across the country celebrated “the flavors of African American, African, and Caribbean cuisine by showcasing black-owned culinary businesses” and brought much-needed attention to struggling restaurants.
PepsiCo became the first national title sponsor of these week-long initiatives that champion restauranteurs, bakers, chefs, caterers, food truck operators and more.
The success was evident as Black Restaurant Week 2020 supported 670 Black-owned culinary businesses, which averaged a 34% increase in sales. The support was critical after a year that saw 41% of Black-owned businesses shuttered.
“Our restaurant has stood strong with open doors for 19 years as a Houston mainstay, feeding locals and visitors alike,” said Marcus Davis, founder and owner of The Breakfast Klub and member of the PepsiCo Black Restaurant Advisory Council. “With the national exposure that Pepsi is providing to businesses like mine, I hope to see a boost in active interest and support of the many Black-owned restaurants shaping the culture and food scene in neighborhoods across America.”