As Lafayette continues to grow, a heartfelt trend is emerging among local restaurant owners who are taking to social media to remind residents to support their local eateries. In a series of vulnerable posts, these businesses are making a direct appeal to the community to choose local dining options amidst an influx of national and regional chains and other challenges.

Local restaurant owners, like Randy Daniels of La Pizzeria, are turning to social media to share the struggles they face. Daniels' recent Facebook post candidly highlighted the economic hurdles his business is experiencing, urging patrons to remember La Pizzeria and other local establishments when deciding where to dine. The post has resonated with the community, garnering around 1000 shares at the time of this post and a flood of supportive comments.


"Like many other local restaurants in the area, La Pizzeria is experiencing the effects of rising costs and increased competition from new, outside restaurants," Daniels wrote. "Please think of La Pizzeria and any of Lafayette's other local restaurants when dining out. We could all really use your support."

Lori Watkins Hurst of Poor Boy's Riverside Inn echoed these sentiments in her comment on Daniels' post, emphasizing the struggle local restaurants face in the current economic climate. "Lafayette has an amazing variety of authentic, home-cooked, local mom and pops that should never be overshadowed by the influx of outside businesses," she wrote.

To the Daniel Family - we understand your struggle. The pandemic, along with the economy, have hurt our industry tremendously. Even harder to compete with the many outsiders that have flooded our city. Lafayette has an amazing variety of authentic, home cooked, local mom and pops that should have never been watered down with the amount per capita we have. When you visit NOLA, they will always recommend a local mom and pop. We could take a page from their book in pride of what we uniquely have locally to preserve our culture on the table. We will come dine again soon and until then, hugs and prayers. The Riverside Family

These posts highlight a broader issue that local campaigns like Eat Lafayette have been addressing for years. Launched 20 years ago by Lafayette Travel, the Eat Lafayette campaign aims to promote local dining establishments, particularly during the slower summer months. The campaign's message remains as relevant today as it was two decades ago, emphasizing the importance of supporting local businesses.

Ben Berthelot, President and CEO of Lafayette Travel, noted the critical role local restaurants play in the community. "Our locally owned restaurants are the backbone of our culture," Berthelot said. "They are the reason Lafayette has been named 'Tastiest Town of the South' and 'Best Food City in the USA.' Eat Lafayette is a great opportunity to support these businesses by bringing awareness to them and answering the question, ‘Where are we going to eat tonight?’"

Other local restaurant owners, like Matthew Privat of Roly Poly, have also made similar appeals. Privat's Facebook post from April received over 800 shares, with many community members pledging to support his small business.

Similarly, Poseidon's Greek Restaurant posted a colorful reminder urging locals to prioritize small local restaurants over national chains. The post bluntly pointed out that while national chains are bustling, local spots often struggle to fill their tables.

The collective message from these restaurant owners is clear: as Lafayette grows and attracts more outside businesses, it's crucial for residents to continue supporting the local eateries that define the city's culinary landscape. Next time you plan a meal out, consider dining at one of Lafayette's many local restaurants, whether it's a favorite spot you haven't visited in a while or a new place waiting to be discovered.

As Lafayette residents, let's rally around our local restaurants, ensuring they continue to thrive and contribute to the rich culture that makes our community an amazing place to work, play, and live.

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