A drop in profits at Taste of Chicago is leaving restaurants hungry for new revenue-generating ideas.
Vendors saw a 20 percent drop in revenue from $6.1 million last year to $4.9 million in gross sales this year, the Sun-Times reports.
Charles Robinson, owner and founder of Robinson's No. 1 Ribs, told the paper he knew sales were down before the city doled out this year's checks. His restaurant still ranked among the top five vendors, though, according to the Sun-Times.
Others among the Top Five include Original Rainbow Cone, Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen, Dominick's and Churro Factory.
Critics blame revenue loss on a drop in attendance spurred by the lack of city-hosted fireworks, no big-name entertainment acts and earlier closing hours.
The Chicago Park District, which took over this year's Taste from the city, needs $1.1 million to break even. It remains unclear whether lesser-known acts and other cuts made that a reality.
Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, a park district spokesperson, told the paper early projections suggest a deficit.
The park district is still waiting for the tabulation of food and beverage sales.