Free Resources for Black-Owned Restaurants and Food Businesses in the DMV

In the wake of the current movement for civil rights, there has been an outpouring of support for Black-owned food businesses by the community. Many have offered their services in support of equality and diversity in the local food industry, including professional photographers, social media gurus, and others. The following resources have been offered for FREE for Black-owned restaurants and food businesses (whether fully or partially Black-owned). Please note these resources are completely voluntary; take or leave them based on what works best for your business.

Free Resources for Black-Owned Restaurants and Food Businesses in the DMV

1. Local Services (DMV)

Free photography, social media trainings, PR consultations, graphic design help, website assistance, and more.  

I did not want to post the personal contact information of volunteers in the DMV area in such a public forum. However, a wide array of professional photographers, social media gurus, PR professionals, graphic designers, and more have offered their services to local Black-owned food businesses. If you're seeking these local services, please use this link to fill out a request form. I'll then do my best to match you with someone close by who can work with you on your needs, but please note that it may take me up to a week to get back to you! 

2. HunQry: Digitize Menus and Ordering

HunQry helps restaurants digitize their menus and create QR codes that customers can scan to place orders. Customers don't need to download an app. They scan the code in the camera app on their phones and are taken directly to the menu. This allows restaurants to better enforce social distancing for dining in while enabling them to expand their reach by taking their digital menus beyond the restaurant walls for pickup orders.

 

HunQry’s goal is to help restaurants reduce costs and find new sources of revenue that they did not have access to previously. This service is free for Black-owned restaurants through the end of 2020 and can be easily set up in 30 minutes. Click for a PDF with more information

If you’re interested, please contact HunQry directly using the information below.

3. Intentionalist: Free Gift Certificate Marketplace

Intentionalist allows businesses without an online presence or previously established gift certificate program to sell gift certificates to customers through their marketplace. Theirs is a no-fee platform, allowing businesses to get set up quickly and at no cost. Click for a PDF with more information.

If you’d like to chat with Intentionalist directly and ask about getting set up on their platform, shoot them an email at hello@intentionalist.com. 

4. Tips for Taking and Posting Your Own Photos to Instagram

Social media is an important tool for business. High-quality photography and the right Instagram tactics can really make content stand out and help you connect with new customers. For those looking to learn more about photography and/or posting on Instagram for their business, click here for a PDF guide

 

5. Chefs Without Restaurants (DMV)

Chefs Without Restaurants is an organization to help promote, educate, and build community among chefs who don’t have physical restaurant spaces. They share gigs, resources, and job opportunities. They also promote chefs and businesses on their Instagram and have a podcast where chefs can share their stories. If your food business doesn’t have a permanent brick-and-mortar location, this might be the group for you. Check them out!

6. Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Restaurants

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of customer interactions with restaurants for the foreseeable future. Now more than ever, a digital presence can make a huge impact on businesses. The Back of House Agency has compiled a decade's worth of expert tips, case studies, and professional training to bring you a simple and all-encompassing guide to managing your own social media. The book addresses five main platforms: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok. There is also a section on best practices for email marketing. If you’d like a copy of this ebook, please email me at contact@feedthemalik.com and I'll get one to you.

7. Available Restaurant Spaces in MD

There are available spaces in Lexington Park, Prince Frederick, Dunkirk, and Hyattsville, MD that would be appropriate for food businesses looking to expand or open their first brick-and-mortar. Landlords are offering free rent through the end of 2020 and financial assistance with the tenant's build-out. Individual spaces vary but could accommodate both takeout-oriented businesses and sit down restaurants. To get more information about these spaces, please email me at contact@feedthemalik.com!

8. Destination DC 

Destination DC is offering a complimentary trial to its membership program. Member benefits are tailored to you grow connections, knowledge, and exposure in DC’s tourism economy. For a limited time, members of the business community can sign up for a six month trial period entitling them to a full member experience. To sign up, simply fill out the form found here.

9. List your business as Black-owned on Google

This new feature allows customers to easily identify that your business is Black-owned. Google searches for Black-owned businesses have surged in recent months and this identification is an easy way to help draw attention to your business.


 

If you're a business and looking for a service not listed here, please let me know by sending me an email at contact@feedthemalik.com. I may or may not be able to find it for you, but I’m happy to try my best using my platform.

 

If you know of a local (DMV based), Black-owned restaurant or food business that might find this information useful, please share it with them!

Any views expressed here do not represent those of people or organizations that the author may be professionally or personally associated with |

© Feed the Malik 2020