Editorial: Why Restaurant Week matters

Print More

The Winter Edition of the sixth annual Restaurant Week began Monday, Feb. 22, and continues through March 5.

Thirty-seven restaurants, at the time of publication, were set to participate in the two-week celebration of the local food scene, with those eateries each offering three-course meals from a special Restaurant Week menu for $23.16.

Basil n' Spice, 299 Shrewsbury St.

Mark Henderson/Worcester Sun

Basil n’ Spice, 299 Shrewsbury St.

Unibank and Pepsi are the presenting sponsors of this year’s Restaurant Week, which is launched in Worcester and managed by Pulse Magazine and its owner Paul Giorgio.

Giorgio told the Sun Monday, “There’s a real economic spinoff. In the middle of winter it has a substantial effect on the restaurant economy.”

The Summer Edition in August also capitalizes on what Giorgio says are the slowest times of the year in the restaurant business.

A conservative estimate of the more than 50,000 people expected to participate would put the economic impact at $1.1 million. Add in drinks, tips, parking and additional night-out activities, and it would be easy to gauge the impact at more than $2 million.

Restaurant Week has the added bonus of being a local affair with local flair. Giorgio said about national restaurant chains, “We don’t ask them to participate.”

Your meals during Restaurant Week, then, become, economically speaking, an efficient mechanism for driving the local economy.

“Restaurants look forward to it and people look forward to it,” Giorgio said.

The impact is not limited to the participating restaurants, he said. “We find that even people who aren’t participating in Restaurant Week also get a bump because people are talking about going out to eat.”

Restaurant Week’s reach is far and wide, Giorgio said. An estimated 170,000 people viewed the website or the Facebook page last year, he said. The visits came not only from Worcester but also surrounding towns.

And if you’re wondering who is making the decision to participate, Giorgio said nearly three-quarters of the Facebook page’s visits were made by women.

Giorgio said he’s heard from business runners who say Restaurant Week is a “discovery mechanism for places to reach new customers. … [Restaurants] do pick up new customers.”

With a set price for the advertised, discounted menu items, he said, “People are more willing to try new places for the Restaurant Week prices.”

Restaurant Weeks are common throughout the country. While people are receptive to the idea, a common knock is that while participating establishments are very busy, sometimes too much so, during the event, things slow down significantly in the weeks immediately after.

With this in mind, we suggest you make it a point to partake in Restaurant Week and then immediately make a date for another night on the town after it’s over. This will afford you the opportunity to try a new place at a reasonable price then show your support again for your favorite local establishment.


Participating Restaurants

There's a distinct new entry on the Shrewsbury Street dining scene.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

There’s a distinct new entry on the Shrewsbury Street dining scene.

111 Chophouse

Amici Trattoria

Armsby Abbey

Basil N’ Spice

Bocado’s Restaurant Tapas & Wine Bar

Brew City

Caffe Espresso Trattoria

Compass Tavern

Chuan Shabu

EL Basha (Park Ave. & Belmont Street)

The Fix Burger Bar

Flying Rhino Cafe

Il Forno Restaurant

Joey’s Bar & Grill

Lakeside Bar & Grille

La Scala Ristorante

Leo’s Ristorante

The Manor

Mare E Monti Trattoria

Mezcal Cantina

Mezé Greek Tapas Bar & Grille

The Mill 185

Nuovo

O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar

Padavano’s Place

Park Grill & Spirits

The People’s Kitchen

Peppercorns

Perfect Game

Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant

Rosalina’s Kitchen

The Sole Proprietor

Somethin’ Catchy Seafood Shanty

Tatnuck Grille

VIA Italian Table

Vintage Grille & Gourmet Pizza

Willy’s Steakhouse

One thought on “Editorial: Why Restaurant Week matters

  1. Restaurant week is a great idea – if you have $23/each for a meal. When money is tight, you want to go somewhere that you know is worth the expense. Before it kicks off,though, you all should consider a “get to know you night”. Nashua NH has a yearly “holiday stroll”. The restaurants along Main Street all set up sampling stations. Main Street is packed, everyone is festive and enjoying feeling like a community. They sample flavored, stroll from one end of Main Street to the other, get to see all the shops, including those that are not restaurants and walk away feeling comfortable in an area they may not visit very often (and find shops they never knew existed). It revived a dying Main Street . They also sell tickets so that they have an idea of how many are coming. I realize all these restaurants of yours may not be close enough together to host a stroll based on tastings. However the idea works for other stores as well. A community just really needs to want to host one. Store owners who would like to find out more could probably call one of the restaurants along Nashua’s Main Street for assistance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *