Foodie Friday February 03, 2021 at 07:36 am

Here are the top Black-owned restaurants to look out for in 2021, according to Yelp

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey February 03, 2021 at 07:36 am

February 03, 2021 at 07:36 am | Foodie Friday

The patronization and support of Black-owned businesses has significantly spiked up following last year's nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that was triggered by the death of George Floyd -- Photo via blackcoffeecincy on Instagram

The nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that took place last year following the death of George Floyd notably triggered a significant spike in the patronization and support of Black-owned businesses.

According to recent data from Yelp, 2020 saw an “unprecedented” rise in the number of people visiting their platform to search Black-owned businesses as well as to support them. Per their data, the search of Black-owned businesses on their platform in 2020 shot up by 2,400% as compared to 2019, and review mentions also soared to 232% during the same time frame.

To celebrate Black History Month, therefore, the popular business review and social networking site curated a list of Black-owned businesses that were top-rated on its platform in 2020. The list cuts across various meticulously segmented businesses on the platform’s food, beauty and home categories.

“To determine this list, we selected businesses who have self-identified with the Black-owned attribute on Yelp, and who have been included in business collections with ‘Black-owned’ or ‘Black owner’ in the title,” Yelp wrote. “These businesses have also shown increases in average ratings and review counts in 2020 compared to 2019, or opened in and after January 2019.”

The businesses that made the final list were also selected by applying a combination of average rating and number of reviews. To ensure a geographically diverse list, the platform limited their selection to two businesses per metro area for each category.

In an interview with TODAY Food, an owner whose establishment made the list, said his café received tremendous support from locals in the wake of the George Floyd protests.

“Here in the city of Cincinnati people were coming together and the energy was that we were gonna support Black, minority-owned businesses to give them a spark, and we felt that,” Means Cameron, owner of Black Coffee Lounge, said.

Cameron also said his café recorded its busiest business period following a local protest that resulted in the shop’s windows getting damaged. As a sign of support and to also help small businesses that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cameron said customers flooded his café.

“Our greatest months of the year were in June and July. It fell off about August,” he said. “I’m interested to see the stats now and in a year — from June (2020) to June (2021).”

Another business owner in the city also reflected on how sales in her coffee shop shot up during that same period. “The coffee shop was slated to open in March, which was postponed, and we ended up opening the first weekend of June. It was insane. We had some riots here. People really did come out and support,” she said. “We were selling every day for three months.”

Take a look at Yelp’s top restaurants to watch this year below:

You can also check out the top Black-owned businesses in its home and beauty category here.

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