The ninth Newcastle Restaurant Week is due to take place from January 19-25, enabling people to dine in some of the city’s best restaurants using fixed price menus of £10 or £15 per head.
In January this year more than 25,000 people took advantage of Restaurant Week offers, equating to an estimated £350,000 worth of business (a 44% upturn) for the participating establishments.
The initiative was launched in 2011 when Newcastle NE1, the business improvement district for the city centre, got together with restaurateurs to discuss what could be done to boost trade during traditionally quiet times of the year.
Restaurant Week, modelled on a similar scheme in New York, was what they came up with.
Since 2011, there have been two Restaurant Weeks a year, one in January and another in August.
Initially just 13 Newcastle restaurants took part but the event is now supported by more than 70 establishments. More than 60% of Restaurant Week diners say they visit two or more restaurants during the week but some dine out every day of the week.
In January, for the first time, the Chefs’ Academy at Newcastle College is taking part, with its trainee chefs and front-of-house staff keen to show discerning diners what they can do.
Andy Brown, head of the department, said: “It’s an honour to be involved in NE1’s Restaurant Week and it will give our students the chance to step up and display their collective talents.
“We have worked hard to establish strong and workable industry links and I’m sure Restaurant Week customers will be impressed with the quality of the food and service delivery.
“It will be great exposure for the students and I’m sure a great experience for diners.”
Respected chef and restaurateur Terry Laybourne said Restaurant Week was “a great opportunity to go out and try several restaurants they might not visit otherwise for a fraction of the normal cost and at a quiet time of the year”.
Stephen Patterson, NE1 director of communications, said the event helped to raise awareness of the city’s outstanding restaurant scene.
For the full list of participating restaurants and offers, visit www.getintonewcastle.co.uk/restaurantweek or follow #NE1RestaurantWeek on Twitter