Pepsi Celebrates Black-Owned Restaurants Across The US With Free Food

Black-owned restaurants in the U.S. face myriad obstacles including a lack of access to capital funding, industry bias, fewer marketing opportunities, and increased barriers to entry. In an effort to mitigate these roadblocks to success, Pepsi is utilizing its sizable presence in the world of food, beverage, and hospitality to increase the visibility of Black-owned restaurants via Pepsi Dig In Day on Saturday, August 19, according to a press release sent to Tasting Table. The celebration encourages people to patronize these establishments through a wide range of events and promotions, one of which is $100,000 worth of free food being offered by Pepsi at select restaurants across the nation.

"Our goal for Pepsi Dig In has always been to celebrate and generate awareness for Black-owned restaurants, not just on Pepsi Dig In Day, but all year long," says Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Global Foodservice. Signature dishes will be highlighted at 25 restaurants in cities like Nashville, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, to name a few. Participating outlets will be listed on EatOkra, where diners can also find other great options in their area via the nation's largest database of Black-owned restaurants. Delivery options can be found through the app Black and Mobile.

Free food ... and so much more

Beyond free food, Pepsi Dig In Day has a variety of ways for diners and foodies to interact with and find out more about Black-owned restaurants. Per the release, with one of the "largest concentrations of Black-owned business in the U.S.," Washington D.C. — specifically the historically African-American neighborhood of Anacostia — will host the Pepsi Dig In Day Block Party. Attendees will be able to sample food from several area Black-owned restaurants and enjoy music provided by Grammy Award-nominated artist Pusha T, Alex Vaughn, Black Alley, DJ Five9, and DJ Money.

Throughout August in New York City, four Black chefs will be featured during week-long residencies at Platform by the James Beard Foundation. The show kitchen and event space will come alive with cooking demonstrations, curated dinners, and more. "This year, we're turning up the flavor and excitement with the support of renowned partners like the James Beard Foundation and events like our Washington D.C. block party where people can indulge in delicious food, cheer on talented chefs, and soak up the vibrant culture that accompanies every dish," explains Finlow.

Fans are also encouraged to share meals they have enjoyed at Black-owned restaurants on social media by tagging @PepsiDigIn and adding #DigInShowLove and #Sweepstakes to their posts between August 1 and August 31. This will enter them to win $5,000 to be put towards food at the restaurant as well as a $5,000 donation to the restaurant. Visit the official website for contest rules.