America’s restaurant and food service industry had been facing obstacles long before the COVID-19 pandemic put an even heavier strain on it. A 2018 article from Restaurant Business noted that the country's restaurant industry was “saturated with chain brands and franchises,” and since the pandemic, restaurants have been reeling more than ever. Despite this, many African themed restaurants, caterers, and the like have managed to persevere in the midst of the pandemic, powered, in part, by social and racial movements that have cast a spotlight on Black-owned businesses. 

For several of the past few years, African food and flavors had been predicted to be the next big food trend. In both 2017 and 2018 it was African spices like berbere and harissa that Food and Drink Resources stated it would be looking forward to seeing more of and in 2019, Whole Foods Market named West African food one of its top ten food trends for 2020. Though the global pandemic has made the restaurant dining experience something like an obstacle course, these African businesses are finding ways to master the new normal.