This story originally appeared in The Philadelphia Tribune
Saturday marks the first “Dig In Day,” an effort dedicated to uplifting Black-owned restaurants and chefs in local communities.
The celebration kicks off a national movement spearheaded by Pepsi that aims to drive $100 million in sales toward Black-owned restaurants during the next five years.
The initiative comes as 41% of Black-owned businesses closed during the pandemic.
Local chef Tanesha Trippett, the owner of Brotherly Grub, is looking forward to participating in the effort.
“It will bring awareness to Black-owned businesses being able to survive hard times,” she said.
Her Mount Airy-based restaurant, which specializes in Southern-inspired cuisine with a Philly twist, had been open for a short time when the pandemic hit last year.
“We just pivoted. We used our expertise and our knowledge with food to make it through the pandemic,” Trippett said.
She said “Dig In Day” will be helpful for business exposure and achieving her goal of franchising the Brotherly Grub food truck.
“There’s so much going on in the city and we just want to be a part of putting the love back into the city, the food and hospitality — just creating good experiences for people,” Trippett added.
She will be serving complimentary signature dishes like chicken and waffles and cauliflower cheesesteak from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Brotherly Grub food truck will be parked at Drexel University Gateway Garden, 3161-67 Market St.
Her restaurant is one of eight local eateries participating in Dig In Day including ABYSSINIA, Barkely’s BBQ, Brotherly Grub, Corfu Pizza, Dwight’s Southern Bar-B-Que, Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen, Soul Food Artist and The Original Hot Dog Factory.
“We all have to eat so let’s create a positive butterfly effect for small businesses and communities alike by being intentional about where we dine or order from,” said Chef JJ Johnson, Pepsi Dig In Day ambassador and James Beard Award-winning chef, TV personality, author and owner of FIELDTRIP restaurants located throughout New York City.
People can support the effort by dining with or ordering from their Black-owned restaurant of choice, then uploading their receipts to DigInPassport.com — a new site where they can explore Black-owned restaurants, track purchases to show support and earn a chance for rewards.
“We’re re-igniting support with individuals and companies alike by giving them an easy way to make their meal count on Dig In Day and every day,” Scott Finlow, chief marketing officer, PepsiCo Global Foodservice said in a news release.
“Our goal is to go beyond this moment to feed a movement and we’re already seeing incredible excitement from the restaurant community, our PepsiCo associates, and corporate partners who together can really make this big.”