As the pandemic enters its final and possibly most difficult phase, companies still face an uncertain future. Restaurants in particular continue to have problems even as they adapt to new realities. However, many have managed to keep going thanks to delivery options and local customer bases doing their best to provide support.
However, black-owned restaurants have faced systemic and institutionalized barriers, including access to capital and a large digital divide. These loopholes aren’t the only reasons these independent owners struggle, but if addressed and improved they can create a level playing field.
PepsiCo has launched a new program to generate $ 100 million in revenue over five years. Celebrating the diverse food offerings and the history of these restaurants, “Dig In” provides concrete and meaningful support to help Black restaurant owners not only survive the pandemic but also build a resilient future.
A new spot from the brand, which debuts today during the NFL playoff games, features four black-owned restaurants. “Savor the Sound” focuses on a day in the lives of 7th and Grove in Tampa, Off the Bone Barbecue in Dallas, The Breakfast Club in Houston, and Kitchen Cray in Washington DC
“With the national presence that Pepsi has brought to companies like me, I hope the active interest and support of the many black-owned restaurants that shape the cultural and food scene in America’s neighborhoods will increase,” said Marcus Davis, Founder and Owner of The Breakfast Club and member of the PepsiCo Black Restaurant Advisory Council
The ad by the Chicago agency Ten35 takes a dual approach to the concept of “Dig In”. According to Ahmad Islam, the agency’s managing partner and CEO, it is a literal interpretation of the invitation from people to discover and support black-owned restaurants. Islam, on the other hand, says it is a “supreme order and a call to action to deal with what is causing turmoil in the black restaurant community”.
From a creative standpoint, the ad could be considered linear as it tells an easy-to-understand story in 30 seconds. The creative accents and high production values illustrate the hard-to-achieve authenticity in an era of poor advertising work. Using strict Covid-19 protocols, including a skeleton crew, the agency went to each location to learn the true essence of each restaurant.
“Everyone, depending on their loan, will find something personally significant here,” noted Islam.
Scott Finlow, CMO of PepsiCo Global Foodservice, said there is a tremendous urgency to help. He is confident that the dynamic will be achieved through a combination of access, acceleration and growth and awareness.
The ad deals with the new levels of consciousness of the current era. The brand’s commitment to the program shows how PepsiCo is investing significant resources. A special part of Dig In is the Black Restaurants Deliver program, an eight-week free consultation that optimizes and expands online ordering and delivery functions. The brand has completed a pilot in Washington DC and will serve over 400 restaurants in 40 communities over the next five years.
“Restaurants that have been well positioned and set up to meet requirements outside of the company have done well over the past nine months,” said Finlow. “We also found that many black-owned restaurants were not as well positioned due to challenges such as access to capital. That’s why we’re stepping in with this program. “
In June, PepsiCo committed $ 400 million to racial equality within the company and the communities in which it operates. US $ 50 million is earmarked to support black-owned businesses. In the announcement, Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo, reiterated the brand’s commitment, saying, “We proudly stand with our black employees and black communities and clearly believe that black lives matter.”