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'Seat At The Table 615' crowdsourcing money for minority-owned restaurants in East Nashville

Seat At The Table 615 Slow Burn campaign
Posted at 4:58 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 21:59:16-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Restaurants owned by minorities are getting some extra foot traffic in East Nashville thanks to crowdfunding by Seat At The Table 615.

"Basically, we identify a restaurant to support and leading up to the weekend we crowdsource a bunch of money, a bank of money to use to support that restaurant, and then on the days identified we use that money to reimburse people for their meals as long as they come to the restaurant and post about it on social media," said Tyler King owner of Seat At The Table 615.

The Cake Project at The Shoppes on Fatherland was the focus of a Seat At The Table 615 campaign.

"We were experiencing this whole COVID situation and we weren't getting a lot of traffic in the area, so it was a really cool, good feeling," said JP Smith.

Smith said there was a line out the door of his business the weekend Seat At The Table 615 featured his cheesecake business.

"I don't think I've [ever] had a weekend with so many people coming in," Smith said.

Campaigns have also brought people to 615 Chutney, Far East and Slow Burn.

"They are BIPOC-owned - Black, Indigenous and People Of Color, and they're based out of East Nashville. Right now, we're solely focused on East Nashville. Ultimately we'll expand it to the whole city, but right now we've got a good community, a good environment here, so we're growing with the community that we know," King said.

Tagging the businesses on social media is key to the success of these campaigns.

"That social media exposure exposes a different audience that maybe they didn't have before. So there's the big burst of energy right there that weekend and hopefully some sustained growth over time," King said.

Social media users that go to the highlighted restaurant and tag the featured restaurant are paid out of the fund.

Seat At The Table 615 features a different establishment roughly once a month. Follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to find out about upcoming campaigns.