WESTMONT – After last year’s successful inaugural run, Westmont Restaurant Week returns for 2018. Sponsored by the Westmont Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, this year’s restaurant week will run from March 2 through 11.
“With over 100 restaurants within the Westmont borders, Restaurant Week provides a platform for all restaurants to participate free of charge and with the exposure guaranteed by a an event of this magnitude," chamber Executive Director Larry Forssberg said. "This year we will feature two dozen restaurants showcasing menu favorites as well as creative new ideas from their chefs.”
Started more than 25 years ago in New York City, restaurant weeks have become commonplace throughout the United States with most major cities hosting one or more per year; Chicago does two two-week periods each year. With the popularity, many local communities have jumped on the bandwagon, and there are now an additional 20 suburban communities hosting restaurant weeks in the Chicago area. Internationally, many countries also have gotten on board with this popular event.
It’s a straightforward and simple program. Restaurants select various food options and fit them into a tiered pricing format. In Westmont, we have chosen the following options: $10, $20, $30 and $40. Restaurants select one or more of the categories and showcase their favorite items in a value-priced package. Restaurateurs choose discounted pricing in exchange for a chance to gain exposure and new patrons. New customers who enjoy the food and experience become longer-term customers, and it’s also a way for restaurants to reward their long-standing diners.
As a restaurant town with more than 100 restaurants, the four different categories allow establishments to participate from coffee shops to fine dining, pizza to pasta, and many categories in between. The customer does not need to do anything unless a reservation is needed. Pick the menus and price points you are comfortable with and go out and try something new. Discounts can range from 10 percent to nearly 40 percent. It’s a great way to support your local business, try something new and enjoy a meal out with friends and family. Not every Westmont restaurant may choose to participate, so if it’s one of your favorites, ask them to hop on board for next year.
Restaurant weeks also have become an important economic tool for communities. Statistically, Americans continue to dine out more and more each year. The economic impact of increased sales tax revenue from additional places to eat, along with the ancillary sales tax revenue as visitors shop at other local businesses, is a perfect storm and has become very competitive among neighboring communities.
I’ll recap a few of the many options below, and I’ll also have a mid-week update March 7, marking the halfway point of Restaurant Week.
Begin your day with breakfast, and you’ll have enough choices to dine out every day! Coffee and muffins are featured at Brewed Awakening, while full breakfast options abound at Citrus Diner, Golden Basket, Harvest Pancake House & Grill, J. Fleming's Absolutely Delicious (Saturday and Sunday only) and Major's Restaurant.