CHICAGO (CBS) — After watching the Taste of Chicago lose $1.3 million last summer, despite significantly scaling back the festival to cut costs, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he’s asked his team at the Department of Cultural Affairs to come up with more changes for the Taste this year.
The financial loss for the Taste came despite scaling back the festival from 10 days to 5; charging visitors for the first time for reserved seats for concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell; hosting fewer vendors; adding cooking lessons from celebrity chefs and so-called “pop-up” restaurants that were at the festival for only one day; and offering three-course meals prepared by five Chicago chefs.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor acknowledged the taste lost more than $1 million last year, but he said the news wasn’t all bad.
“They redid things; meaning there were pop-up restaurants, there were new types of restaurants that we offered,” he said. “They’re going to have to think through how we do that, but know that ticket sales were up, revenue was up, and attendance was up. That’s all to the good.”