What is Restaurant Week?
Restaurant week is an event where restaurants offer reduced or fixed price menus, so customers can try many different types of food that may normally be out of their price range. Restaurant week appeals to locals and tourists alike, and most operations that participate see increased traffic during the occasion.
How Does Restaurant Week Work?
During the promotion, participating restaurants typically offer a 3-course meal for a fixed price (prix-fixe), and often may offer more than one prix-fixe option. For example, the most expensive option may include a better cut of meat, one cocktail per person, or a bottle of wine for the table. A lower price point option may be as simple as a signature soup or salad complemented by a dessert. Providing several meal options makes guests with varying budgets feel welcome in your restaurant.
How Does Restaurant Week Benefit My Business?
Restaurant week is a great way for businesses to draw in new customers and increase your overall foot traffic. However, many owners question if giving out a week of deals will actually help their operation. Here are a few reasons why participating in a Restaurant Week promotion is a good idea:
  1. Increased Foot Traffic. Although you are offering your meals for reduced prices, restaurant week brings in more traffic than usual, which will make up for the lower dollar amount.
  2. New Customers. Restaurant week gives you a chance to impress customers with your food and service, with the goal of obtaining repeat customers.
  3. Builds Credibility. Taking part in restaurant week can boost your reputation as a high-quality and fashionable restaurant in your community.
How to Get the Most Out of Restaurant Week
Like any promotion, you only get out of it what you put into it. During the event, guests are going to visit a lot of different restaurants, so you want to be the one that everyone remembers and comes back to after the occasion has ended. Here are a few tips for taking full advantage of your participation:
  1. Create a menu that helps you reach your goal. If your goal is to stand out from the crowd for your creativity, use the event as an occasion to serve experimental and unique dishes. If you’re looking to appeal to new audiences and bring in new diners, fill your menu with your most popular dishes
  2. Train and prepare your staff. Make sure that guests feel like VIPs from the moment they enter your operation. Design a special, easy-to-read menu for the occasion. Train your staff to greet your customers with the promotion, i.e. “Thank you for calling XYZ Restaurant, it’s Fresno Restaurant Week, how can we help you? Most importantly, use the marketing materials provided, and talk about it on all of your social platforms.
  3. Partner with a local business. Consider teaming up with a local winery, brewery, or distillery and offer a complete food and drink package. You can also use fresh produce from local farms and markets. This is a great way to help another business increase its branding, and it will show that your
    restaurant is a true part of the community, which is what restaurant week is all about.
What if I do not want to offer a Prix-Fixe Menu or Specialty Menu Item?
While offering something special is not mandatory, it is how Restaurant Week is marketed to consumers, therefore it is what they will be looking for when they visit your restaurant. The success of restaurant week really depends on how much effort participating restaurants put into it, and the power that comes from cross-marketing dozens of restaurants under the same umbrella. But, if that’s just not your thing and you want to put your name out there, that can work too. Please just make sure your staff is aware of what customers may be looking for when they come in during this time period.
Do you have questions? Contact Rebecca Johnson, Director of Development for the Fresno Chamber.
rjohnson@fresnochamber.com   |   559-495-4800