This is the big one, and it’s next week. In Connecticut, we have come to love our restaurant weeks… in New Haven, Westport, Hamden, Hartford… to name but a few. Favorite restaurants get jammed with happy diners, bustling servers, chefs and bartenders, and grinning owners.
Connecticut Restaurant Week, sponsored by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, the state’s 375th Anniversary celebration, and SYSCO Food Services of CT, came onto the scene in the fall of 2008, so it has history. While the local events play well within their own communities, this statewide event has broader reach, and you can expect dozens of restaurants to participate. Restaurants that are association members can have their menus listed at ctrestaurant.org.
NOTE to restaurateurs: RestaurantsCT.com’s Executive Editor, Frank Cohen, offers this advice to you when participating in this or other restaurant week promotions. “Put your best foot forward,” he suggests, “look at the long-term positive effects of this promotion, and not just the day’s bottom line.” Surely your business is supposed to be profitable, but take Frank’s advice and stretch your cost standards a bit.
“Give a bit more than usual, more than you can normally give for the $20.10 or $37.50 menu price. The scores of happy customers will make up in positive PR the few extra pennies spent to create the plate.” “Don’t forget service, too” he added, “so staff a few extra servers each day, and lavish these repeating regulars or newfound friends with hospitality.” Get the word out. You should already have been telling all your customers that next week is Connecticut Restaurant Week, and giving them a sneak peak at your menu. If you’re on Facebook or send out timely e-mail newsletters, get this info in there.
Enjoy your week at Connecticut’s favorite restaurants, and be sure to comment back here to let us all know how much you enjoyed Connecticut Restaurant Week!