The city of Lafayette has launched its eat local campaign. EatLafayette is in its ninth year of promoting the mom-and-pop restaurants that have put Lafayette on the map as a foodie town. Ben Berthelot, executive director of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, has found that over the years more and more local restaurants have pulled together for this campaign.
“We went from 19 restaurants in a two-week campaign nine years ago, to this year we have basically a three-month campaign and 73 restaurants participating," Berthelot said.
Berthelot said his tourism bureau spent about $150,000 on advertising it last year, and the reach will extend even farther outside the region this year. Lafayette was recently recognized as a top 10 "Foodie City" by Livability.com in company with the likes of Madison, Wis., and Berkeley, Calif. Berthelot said it’s Acadiana’s locally-owned restaurants that earned them this distinction, and they deserve support.
“From a [restaurant's] manpower standpoint sometimes it’s a challenge. Meeting their bottom line – they have very small margins," Berthelot said. "Anything that we can do to help our locally-owned restaurants be successful and help us to continue our great reputation as a 'Foodie City' I think is important, and that’s what EatLafayette is all about.”
A Taste of Lafayette kick-off event will be held tomorrow night. The EatLafayette campaign runs through Sept. 2, and organizers will give away a four-day cruise as part of the promotion.