BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Prepare your palates for some fine dining at a bargain price. Local Restaurant Week offers up a menu of upscale entrees for just $20.12 per plate.
Restaurant week is held twice a year during a time that can be slow for some eating establishments. It's widely seen as a mutually beneficial idea for customers and restaurant owners. Nearly 200 restaurants are offering a multi-course meal or a meal for two for $20.12.
The Restaurant Association estimates it pumps $10 million into western New York's economy, plus it offers a great excuse not to cook.
"We're going to some places we've heard about but we haven't been. So it's giving us an opportunity, or an incentive, to try new places," says Cole's customer Sherry Baum.
Restaurants use the week to earn new customers, and to introduce new dishes to customers.
"It's not just taking something off the menu and reducing the price," says Paul Tsouflidis, the owner of Acropolis on Elmwood Avenue.
He uses Restaurant Week for both. He says they get a lot of customers they've never seen before, plus they are able to show off the chef's skills by serving something new.
Cole's on Elmwood is known by many for burgers and beer... And that's what you can get at a discounted price for lunch during Restaurant Week. For dinner, you can try their annual Oktoberfest dishes at a discounted price.
In the three years of restaurant week's existence, Cole's owner Mike Shatzel is impressed with how on top of it customers have become.
"Couple weeks ahead they start planning their week out. A lot of them go out every, seven days of the week," Shatzel says.
"We made reservations for Tuesday night at Aqua. And Thursday night at Club 31," Baum says.
The restaurant owners we talked to see Restaurant Week as an effective form of advertising. Cole's and Acropolis each take between 20 and 25 percent off the normal price of the dishes offered.
If you want to plan out your restaurant week visits, visit the Local Restaurant Week website for a full list of participating eating establishments and their offered meals.
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