Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Urban Dispatch: New York Restaurant Week Set To Expand On Account Of Economy, May Last Entire Month; What About Philly’s?

Center City Restaurant Week starts this Sunday and runs for six days, Jan 25-30.

Up in NYC, they are all set to expand their Restaurant Week from a week to a month in an effort to maximize its impact on the local economy.

From Crain's:
Restaurant Week extended to February

Record program participation and slumping eatery revenues make extension likely.

Restaurant Week has not even begun yet—it starts on Sunday—but its organizers are already considering extending the popular promotion through February, according to a board member of NYC & Company, which sponsors the event.

“I think that our restaurants would do it,” said Tracy Nieporent, chairman of the tourism bureau’s restaurant committee, and a partner in Myriad Restaurant Group. That willingness comes on top of the fact that this year’s program has already been expanded to include Sundays for the first time ever.
It is important to note both that while Restaurant Week is not necessarily a huge profit-maker for the participating restaurants, it does at least help.
The recession has hit the industry hard, with two major restaurants, Fiamma and Ruby Foo, closing just this week.

While Restaurant Week is not necessarily a huge profit-maker for the industry, it helps to keep eateries busy in the normally slow winter months.

"It’s better to be busy and have the volume even if the profit is down,” said Mr. Nieporent, whose company owns Nobu, Tribeca Grill and other well-known restaurants.

After the promotion ends, customer traffic usually falls off even if a restaurant decides to continue the program on its own, added Mr. Nieporent.
So while a month-long restaurant week would probably not be a great idea for Philadelphia, extending it officially from one week to two weeks (or from six days to 12 days) would probably be beneficial to all involved.

We know some restaurants elect to keep the deal going themselves, but that is not as effective as officially extending the promotion to all participants. And extending the corresponding promotion of the event.

But we have a feeling that the Center City District is more than happy to leave well enough alone… you know, with Restaurant Week already being a relatively big pain in the arse to organize/manage. (Or so we've heard.)

But that doesn't mean they shouldn't at least try to get a little more bang out of their promotional buck, right?

Just sayin'.

Restaurant Week extended to February [ Crain’s New York via Grub Street ]
Center City Restaurant Week [ Official Site ]

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