Developed by Tim Zagat and Joe Baum, the NYC restaurant week was intended to welcome the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to the city. Although originally created to appeal to DNC attendees, the program found a strong following among residents.
Since its start in 1992, Restaurant Week has grown into a biannual event with over 400 participating restaurants and thousands of diners. This year restaurant week will run from July 22 to August 16. And two-course lunches and three-course dinners will cost $26 and $42 respectively. These nearly four weeks are an opportunity for visitors and residents to experience the NYC dining experience and try exciting new dishes. Diners have the world of cuisine at their fingertips; from French brasseries to soul food to Old New York classics, restaurant week has it all.
But What Does Restaurant Week Mean for Restaurants?
Restaurant week is just as much an opportunity for restaurants as it is for diners. Although you need to lower prices by 20-50% of your normal price, the increased traffic more than makes up for the lost revenue. Furthermore, if your restaurant is lucky enough to be a part of restaurant week, you have the chance to convert an experimental diner into a returning customer. Being a part of restaurant week does require some work though.
Firstly, your restaurant needs to be a member of the NYC & Company group — this requires an annual membership fee. For information about membership and its benefits, click here. Secondly, restaurants need to apply to be a part of this four-week event. As of right now, applications for the upcoming restaurant week are closed, but winter restaurant week applications are open. If you are interested, become a member of NYC & Company and inquire about being a part of restaurant week, a team member will then get back to you.
In terms of the application itself, restaurants are evaluated on criteria like price points, ratings, awards, chef bio, and reviews. This evaluation ensures that participating restaurants are of the same caliber. Thirdly, participating restaurants must offer the NYC Restaurant Week menu during programs dates from Monday to Friday. You may offer lunch, dinner, or both. The main takeaway from all of this is that being part of restaurant week is not entirely a walk in the park. Becoming a participating restaurant is a process, but it pays off.
For any additional information, click here or contact a representative for NYC & Company.