Diners will once again get an opportunity to eat at some of the Miami Valley’s best restaurants at affordable prices, while helping to support local charity’s during Restaurant Week July 28 – Aug 4th. Looks like this time around there are about 50 restaurant to choose from, down about 10 from last summer’s promotion. Restaurants will be offering multi-course prix fixe menus at either $20.13, $25.13 or $30.13.
DaytonDinings Tips: Make reservations when possible
New this year, many restaurants seem to be offering multiple price points to choose from and guests can choose the menu they prefer. You’ll find many of the menu’s on the MVRA site. Spinoza’s, Hickory River Smokehouse, McGullicutty’s and Nick’s are offering to feed a couple for $20.13. The Caroline in Troy is including a glass of beer or wine, plus 3 courses with their options and Christopher’s options include 4 courses to choose from.
Many restaurants are closed on Sun &/or Monday- check first
Traditionally Restaurant Week has kicked off on Sunday and ended on Friday. This summer’s promotion has been extended to run Sunday through Sunday. And keep your eye out, several restaurants often carry over the dining deals for a second week.
No matter where you chose to dine, part of the package includes a donation to charity partners. $1 of each meal will be split between Cancer Support Community of Western Ohio and the MVRA scholarship fund.
While saving on your meal- splurge on wine to compliment your meal
Many people have a love/hate relationship with Restaurant Week. Before I go any further, I should admit that I was the President of the Restaurant Association when this promotion was launched in 2005 and I am quite proud of the impact it’s had on our community. But I also know folks that dine out regularly and yet avoid this week due to the crowds. I also have a group of friends that can’t wait for the menu’s to be posted so they can plan their eating extravaganzas.
Restaurant staff also have mixed feelings about this promotion. Most appreciate that they will be busy all week, but I’ve heard bartenders complain that while the servers and cooks are busy, that guests aren’t buying anything but the dining deal and therefore they don’t make much money. As a former restaurateur, I know that those who embrace this promotion as a marketing opportunity are the ones that get the most from it. Owver/Chef Wiley at Meadowlark has been a great example from the very beginning. She involved her staff, planned creative meals and promoted the menu’s ahead of time to her regular guests and even poured wine for waiting guests.
Menu offerings can change – be flexible
I too, have things I dislike about this week. Like restaurants that sign up for the promotion, but don’t get buy in from their staff. I’ve been to several places that print a special Restaurant Week menu on an insert and the guests get seated without the promo menu. Whether intentional or an oversight, I’ve then heard guests questioning whether the restaurant is participating or that they don’t see the $20.13 meal. Restaurants please don’t make it hard for guests to partake. The MVRA also promotes a contest offering guests a chance to win gift certificates for filling out a comment card, but many restaurants don’t pass them out- so be sure and ask your server for yours and your meal deal can really pay off if you win!
If you do go out for these dining deals, please keep in mind that for many places, this is the busiest week of the year for them and that can mean longer waits, frazzled staff and sometimes running out of the advertised items. Be patient and please remember to share the savings you got on your meal when you tip. Happy dining!
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