Restaurant Week ended yesterday here in Binghamton, New York.
For those who don't have this program, you may want to consider it for your community.
This started out in 2010 as a once a year promotion, and is now twice a year. It is a win-win for both restaurants and their patrons.
It works like this:
Participating restaurants offer either lunch or dinner, or both. These are prix fixe meals.
Lunch is three courses for $10 - an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. (some restaurants offer a wine or beer in exchange for the appetizer). Dinner is "$25 or less". Most restaurants chose to charge either $20 or $25, and the dinner prix fixe menu consists of four courses. For lunch it's usual to offer a choice of two appetizers, three main dishes, and two desserts, but this can vary.
They can, at their option, also offer their regular menu.
This is the caring part - a portion of the proceeds go to charity. This time the charity is CHOW, our Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse. Our Binghamton community suffers from high unemployment, and high underemployment, and an important thing to remember (this was related to me by a person who volunteers at a local food pantry) that a high percentage of those who use those food pantries are working poor.
I work in downtown Binghamton, and I can testify that the restaurants are packed during Restaurant Week. It's a good time for chefs to highlight their creations and gain new customers. It's a good time for people (who can afford to eat out) to try new restaurants out and eat out for a good cause. And, a good time for both businesses and customers to reflect on their good fortune in being able to participate.
Monday - my experience as a restaurant goer and this past Restaurant Week. Why do I say "heartburn for charity?" I'll explain more about that tomorrow (it ended well).
Does your area have a similar restaurant program or a special business event in your area that raises money for local charities?