Lower ‘Taste' Profits Sour Vendors

Restaurants collected 20 percent less in revenue from this year's Taste

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.

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