Due to the wide spread of Covid-19, the future of many D.C. restaurants have become uncertain. August is already a slow month regularly, and when you combine that with a pandemic, it seems to spell doom for many restaurateurs. The annual Summer Restaurant Week, put on by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), is held to bring in customers during the slow season. This year’s restaurant week is more important than ever.
“The Restaurant Week promotions have always been held to give our local restaurants a boost during difficult times when business is slower,” says Kathy Hollinger, president & CEO of RAMW. “However, this year we hope to do the same while giving diners even more options to choose from in how they participate in the promotion, while also supporting our small businesses in what will be a longer recovery effort.”
This year’s restaurant week will take place over the course of two weeks, from Monday, August 17 to Sunday, August 30, instead of one week as in years past. Restaurants will also offer special to-go menus for the first time. These menus, along with the longer timeframe, will allow diners to safely enjoy the special menus prepared by the restaurants.
“We introduced the to-go meal options at a special discounted rate to encourage support of restaurants in the promotion, but also keeping in mind that diners may want to ‘dine out,’ but at home,” Hollinger explains.
With more than 200 participating restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, there are plenty of options to choose from. And, with the extended timeframe, there’s even more time to enjoy meals from restaurants all over the DMV you may have been dying to try. Enjoy your to-go meals in the car at drive-in movie theaters popping up all over D.C, or set up your home space to mimic your favorite local eatery.
And, just because you’re partaking in Restaurant Week doesn’t mean you’ll be spending an arm and a leg at a Michelin-starred bistro. This year, the participating restaurants have a wider range offering casual and upscale dining.
“We encouraged fast-casual restaurants to participate this year to be part of the promotional recovery aspects as well as to provide our diner audience with even more options to choose from when deciding on where or how to dine for Restaurant Week,” Hollinger says.
In the future, we may get to see some of these new features stay. Hollinger says that RAMW is looking to gather feedback from the participating restaurants and diners about how the to-go option worked and if it was enjoyable. If the feedback is positive, it’s very possible that in Restaurant Weeks to come, you will continue to enjoy great meals in the comfort of your own home.
“What we know is that consumer behavior changes, and has during this pandemic, so our programming always reflects ease and comfort for operators as well as diners,” Hollinger adds.
For now, take advantage of the expanded offerings and support your local eateries by dining in or taking food to go during this summer’s restaurant week. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite restaurant, or get to feast on your favorite treats from an old standby at a great price.
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