Do Restaurant Weeks Benefit Restaurants?

October 17, 2011

An interesting piece in Forbes looks at the economics of a favorite annual tradition of many diners: restaurant weeks. The results are generally positive for both restaurants and the cities that host the celebrations. 

Los Angeles restaurants reported a of 17 percent increase in revenue and 22 percent more covers during the week.  A city employee in Philadelphia said, "Since its inception in 2003, Center City District Restaurant Week has generated over $23.9 million in additional revenues for the restaurants and pumped over $90.7 million into Center City Philadelphia’s economy.”

Despite the fact that restaurants sell food at greatly reduced rates, they still tend to make money on the deal. The greater number of customers makes up for those lower prices. 

The numbers are a bit less impressive in New York City. The food & beverage industry generates $6.6 billion annually for the city, but the July restaurant week brought in $4.7 million. 

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