Let’s Talk is a business initiative – women restaurateurs who are battling jointly to survive this crisis. It is centered on dining and restaurants, an industry the country loves and that is hit hard, and it is a women’s story – one of collaboration, hope and battle, amidst doom.

Let’s Talk Womxn was started in July 2020 in Chicago with 15 members. It was created as a forum for women restaurateurs to talk to each other and share resources. It has rapidly evolved to these entrepreneurs undertaking joint initiatives and combining their voice for actions to save their businesses. It is founded and led by Rohini Dey, Ph.D., owner of Vermilion restaurant (Chicago), a former trustee and founder/chair of the James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Program and former McKinsey & Co. consultant and World Bank economist. Let’s Talk has expanded to 350+ members across 12 cities including Washington DCPhiladelphiaAtlanta, Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, the Bay Area/San FranciscoPhoenixBoston, Los Angeles and Seattle. The objective of Let’s Talk is to increase visibility, funds and combine economic power for women restaurateurs through this crisis and beyond.

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To celebrate this momentum and women’s positive collaboration, Let’s Talk is delighted to announce its official nationwide debut event on International Women’s Day. Nearly 100 women restaurateurs across nine of its cities invite all to join them for “Dine Together & Let’s Talk” on March 8, 2021. This evening features collaborative, surprise multi-restaurant dining experiences for takeout by the women of Let’s Talk. These dinners span four to ten-course menus priced $45$150 for order by March 4th. Guests are invited to Dine Together as one city and join in a Zoom conversation from 7-8 pm with the Let’s Talk women. Expect candor and a provocative discourse moderated by marquee names, including Congresswoman Marie Newman and bestselling author/TED speaker Angela Duckworth. Let’s Talk invites you share this event with colleagues, friends, daughters and sons to change the dialogue. They emphasize parity is NOT solely a women’s cause.

Jennifer Russo

“Restaurants are the hardest hit sector,” says Dey. “And women entrepreneurs within this segment are hit hardest. Our restaurants are smaller in scale and often undercapitalized. Women shoulder the inevitable extra home workload, and they are isolated as business owners. Let’s Talk is not an organization, it is not an entity, or an association – from whom we women restaurateurs have received a deluge of webinars, guidelines and manuals – it is an action movement by us.”

More About Let’s Talk: The commitment of each Let’s Talk member is voluntary and out-of-hide. Every Let’s Talk city is cohosted by two to four leading women restaurateurs. Learnings are actively cross-pollinated across cities. On-the-ground city initiatives so far have included Women’s Restaurant Weeks, collaborative tasting menus, food fairs, farmers markets, meal kits, subscriptions, cross-promotions, gift baskets, mentorship and more. Members have pooled voices to apply for grants, meet with governors and city officials, write op-eds and participate on panels to showcase the Let’s Talk model of positive action-oriented collaboration.

In Phoenix

• Participants: Jennifer Russo (The MARKET by Jennifer’s Restaurant + Bar and Jennifer’s Catering LLC), Danielle Leoni (The Breadfruit), Shannon Rush (My Wine Cellar), Jennifer Caraway (The Joy Bus Diner), Helen Yung (Sweet Republic), Valentina Huerta (Nonna Urban Eatery), Lori Hashimoto (Hana Japanese Eatery), Sasha Raj (24 Carrots), Rochelle Daniel (Atria, Fat Ox)

• Offering: Surprise multi-restaurant four-course dinner for two ($85).

• To participate: Click here