To kick off the new year, over 30 restaurants in the Fort Worth metroplex welcomed eager consumers during Winter Restaurant Week. Despite its name, this event spanned a total of three weeks, beginning January 7 and ending January 27.
The goal of Restaurant Week was to raise money for Grace, a food bank in Grapevine, and the Tarrant Area Food Bank. These local food banks greatly benefit from donations as they assist in feeding hungry children, families, and seniors in our community. The title sponsor for this project was 360 West Magazine, the presenting sponsor was Ben E. Keith Co., and the co-sponsors were OpenTable and 817HOME.
The participating restaurants in the 2019 Winter Restaurant Week created a fixed-price menu that allowed for between 14 and 17 percent (depending on the restaurant) of proceeds from each meal to be donated to a local food bank. This created an incredible opportunity for foodies to, not only enjoy delicious, three-course meals at lower prices but, also enjoy knowing that their meal tab went towards helping those who are less fortunate.
“It’s a great way to have guests try the restaurant that may have otherwise not come in due to price and raise money for charity at the same time. It’s a great win-win,” said Tim Love, Owner and Head Chef of Lonesome Dove, Woodshed Smokehouse, Queenie’s Steakhouse, and Love Shack. Both Lonesome Dove and Woodshed Smokehouse participated in the Winter Restaurant Week.
Along with Lonesome Dove and Woodshed Smokehouse, restaurants such as B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Waters, Righteous Foods, and dozens of others prepared options for a three-course meal to give back to local charity. In addition to this, the buzz of lower-priced meals drives in potentia first-time customers who, depending on how they liked their meal, could become regulars for a local restaurant.
“While our sales stay very steady all year long, Restaurant Week allows us to have more guests while maintaining our normal sales,” said Love when asked how the Winter Restaurant Week affected sales. In other words, while Restaurant Week doesn’t necessarily bring in more revenue because the meals are at a lower price, it does provide a great opportunity for restaurants to expand their customer base.
When it comes to choosing what to offer on fixed-price menus, restaurants must consider what will be most appealing to new customers. “We like to offer some of our greatest hits so that new guests get a good sample of regular service,” said Love.
“B&B had such an extensive variety of choices for each course at such an affordable price,” exclaimed Branson Davis ’20 of his experience during Restaurant Week. While the majority of restaurants offered three options for each course, B&B Butchers offered nine choices for the first two courses and four options for the third course. Davis enjoyed spent Brisket Ravioli, an eight-ounce filet mignon, and a slice of New York cheesecake, which typically costs $68 on their regular menu, for $49 with the fixed-price menu.
Overall, Winter Restaurant Week was a successful way to support local food banks and, as a bonus, it provides exposure to local restaurants, and customers receive great deals. If you missed out on Winter Restaurant Week but you are still interested in great deals for delicious food (and are 21 years+), be sure to check out the upcoming Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival taking place April 4-7. Just like Winter Restaurant Week, the goal of this Festival is to raise donations, benefiting the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for local grant programs and culinary scholarships. The Foundation has raised more than $129,000 since 2014 for grants and scholarships for culinary students from Fort Worth.