Taste of the Town, an annual restaurant marketing and charity event held in Washington since 1980, will be expanding to Philadephia in November and several other cities in 1984, promoter Don Whyte said.
Whyte said he has been signed to produce shows in Baltimore, Norfolk and Nashville in 1984, too. Several other cities, such as Richmond and Memphis, have also shown interest, he said.
Taste of the Town offers a sampling of Washington ethnic and American restaurants, Capitol Hill pubs and food and beverage suppliers ranging from Dominique's to O'Brien's Pit Barbecue.
Thirty-one local restaurants and 22,000 patrons participated in Taste of the Town in its initial year. In 1982, 74 restaurants and 44,000 patrons were involved, Whyte said. He said he has 101 restaurants lined up for this year's event July 9 and 10 at the Washington Convention Center.
Restaurants pay a $750 fee to set up a booth, and individual kitchen facilities and paper supplies are provided by the sponsor, he said.
Taste of the Town also features entertainment and tasting booths, which feature beverages and specialty foods. A tasting booth's sponsor pays between $2,500 and $15,000 for the privilege.
After costs, proceeds from Washington's Taste of the Town event are donated to Children's Hospital, Whyte said. The donation usually amounts to "10 to 15 percent," he said. Last year, out of a gross of $300,000, Children's received about $32,000. Whyte said he hopes Children's Hospital will receive "between $50,000 to $70,000" this year.
A local children's hospital will be the beneficiary of the Philadelphia show. The Norfolk show will benefit the Virginia Symphony.
Taste of the Town normally operates with a staff of 10 people, but during a show that can expand to about 80. Whyte expects to add regular employes as he expands to other cities.
Whyte and his wife, Sandra Butler Whyte, also own three other Alexandria firms specializing in convention and special events management, speciality products and restaurant marketing.