Although Hurricane Irma didn't do as much damage to Miami as it could have, many establishments are still without power. A two-week break from business for a small mom-and-pop restaurant could become its own Cat 5 disaster.
To help local restaurants, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has extended Miami Spice through October. The dining program, which traditionally runs August 1 through September 30, is designed to give a financial boost to local eateries during Miami's slowest months for tourism.
Spice public relations rep Larry Carrino says all restaurants currently participating in Miami Spice are invited to participate in October, but no new restaurants will join. About 90 percent or more of those restaurants are expected to extend the program through Halloween. The GMCVB is still reaching out to restaurants, but fewer than five have declined to continue through next month. The program and price points — $23 for lunch or brunch and $39 for dinner — will not change.
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"Every day that Miami restaurants don't open, they lose," Carrino says. "There's payroll, overhead, food costs, and spoilage. Every day is money not coming in. Things are already challenging in August and September. Miami Spice is offered during those months for a reason."
The Brustman Carrino Public Relations president says allowing restaurants to extend Miami Spice might give them the boost they need. "It's a way for them to use the PR and marketing muscle of the GMCVB to help restaurants and chefs recoup and recover as much significant business as they can."
In addition to extending Spice, the GMCVB will launch a campaign in October letting tourists know Miami is up and running and ready to host visitors. Says Carrino: "We're not Atlantis." The GMCVB will also offer two other deal campaigns — Miami Spa Month and Miami Attractions Month — in October to stimulate the economy. Visit ilovemiamispice.com for a complete list of restaurants participating in Miami Spice.