January’s Newcastle Restaurant Week breaks records

NE1’s Newcastle Restaurant Week in January kickstarted the year in style, delivering a boost of more than £1million to over 100 restaurants in the city – making it the most profitable Restaurant Week on record.

Participating restaurants shared an uplift in trade during January’s event, with diner numbers exceeding 50,000 people.

The biannual event offers discounted meals at some of the city’s finest restaurants, with this year’s deals priced at £15, £20 and £25 per person. A mainstay of Newcastle’s events calendar, the event has helped transform two of the quietest weeks of the year into two of the busiest and most profitable.

Restaurant Week launched in 2011, with 13 of the city’s top restaurants taking part. It has continued to grow, with more than 100 restaurants now participating. Inspired by a similar scheme in New York, Newcastle’s event was the first of its kind in the UK, and its success has influenced many other UK cities to try to replicate the winning formula.

Ben Whitfield, director of communications at NE1 Ltd, said: “It is fantastic that January’s Newcastle Restaurant Week has once again broken the £1million mark, making it our biggest on record. As one of the most anticipated culinary events in the city, we continue to work hard to ensure both diners and venues have a fantastic week which showcases the industry and the city at its best.

“As well as enjoying discounted meals, people know that NE1’s Restaurant Week creates a real buzz in the city which adds to the enjoyment. We are already looking forward to August’s event which will play a key part in our Summer in the City events calendar.”

Michael Wells, general manager of Chaophraya, added: “Having taken part in August’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week for several years we know just how successful the event can be, how popular it is with our customers, and the business benefits it delivers, last August’s event actually delivered a record sales week for the restaurant.

“In previous years, we haven’t taken part in January’s event due to other promotions across the Chaophraya group. We still ran these promotions this year, however, we persuaded senior management to get involved in NE1’s much-loved event for the week in January and the results spoke for themselves.

“We had a fantastic week with more than 1,700 customers choosing to dine with us, and regular faces opting for the Newcastle Restaurant Week offer alongside new customers. It is such a well-known and well-publicised event that creates a real buzz in the city and guarantees a boost to diner numbers for the week. It made a huge difference to an otherwise quite quiet January. We can’t wait to take part in future events.”

Aldo Hasani, owner of Salparo Greek restaurant on the Side and a newcomer to Restaurant Week, said: “Salparo only opened in Newcastle in November, so January’s Newcastle Restaurant Week gave us an amazing opportunity to welcome hundreds of new diners into the restaurant.

“Having traded in Heaton for several years with our Paros restaurant, we were familiar with the event and how it transforms business in the city. Now that we have a city-centre venue we were delighted to play our part in what is a tremendously celebratory event.

“We enjoyed a fabulously busy week, our busiest so far. What we also discovered was that Restaurant Week has a positive impact and aftermath, even after the event is over diners recommend us to their friends and family, which makes the event so powerful. We haven’t just benefited from actual sales during the week but from the legacy effect. We had a great week, met new customers, made new friends and hope to take part in many future events.”

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