Record figures released this week show that January’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week surpassed all previous events and delivered a major boost to business worth over £1/2 million.
Over 100 restaurants took part in the week, the largest number ever to register for the event, which is now a firm fixture in the Newcastle’s events calendar.
As well as the highest number of participating restaurants, other records were broken during the week, which ran from 16 – 22 January. Nearly 45,000 people dined out over the course of the event, 10,000 more than in 2016, and restaurants also reported a huge rise in sales, with an average increase of nearly 20% year on year.
NE1’s Get into Newcastle website, which publishes details of all participating venues and their Restaurant Week offers, also reported a huge spike in activity, recording its highest ever number of unique visitors, beating all previous records, with over 1.7 million Restaurant Week page views by the time the event was over.
January was the 13th NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week held since the event was first launched in 2011. The idea originated from New York, where twice a year diners get the chance to eat out at some of the city’s top restaurants for a fraction of the normal price. The formula translated well to Newcastle with its vibrant restaurant scene and it has quickly grown in stature. When the event was first held, 13 restaurants took part and now six years later, over 100 celebrated in January with more expected in August this year. Venues devise show-stopping menus to attract new diners, many of whom are keen to try out venues for the first time, encouraged by the NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week offer of dining out for only £10 or £15 per head.
Ben Whitfield NE1 Marketing and Events Manager said:
“We are absolutely delighted that this January’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week broke all previous records. The event continues to go from strength to strength reflecting the growth of the city’s restaurant scene. Newcastle is now the culinary capital of the North with more restaurants per square mile than any Northern city and Restaurant Week is a great way to celebrate this.
It is such a simple formula that is easy to understand and well received by diners and restaurants alike. We’re confident that we’ll keep breaking these records and are already gearing up for August.”
Andy Hook, Managing Director of the Hooked-On Group said:
“At Blackfriars, we’ve been involved in Restaurant Week since the beginning and this January was our busiest yet. Two to three weeks before the event even got underway, we were completely booked out for the week and that’s unprecedented. It just shows how popular the event is and how people love the formula, it creates such a welcome opportunity for people to come out and enjoy themselves for a reasonable price during what would otherwise be a quite, miserable month after the expense of Christmas.
“For our new restaurant, Dobson & Parnell, NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week was a welcome shot in the arm. It came at a perfect time for our fledgling business and helped fill the place. The feedback we received was fantastic.
“NE1 does a great job running and publicising the event, there’s always a lot of talk about the event in the run up and a great buzz and excitement during the week itself. It is good to see so many restaurants involved from both the independent and branded sectors and it gives the public real choice and the restaurants are full on the back of it, a win- win situation all round."
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