Restaurant Week will get participation from a record 571 eateries in all five boroughs of the Big Apple when it kicks off next week, according to the city’s tourism bureau.
It will be the first time the decades-old promotion will be a take-out only event — dubbed “Restaurant Week To Go” this year — due to the temporary ban on indoor dining in the city during the pandemic.
Many more restaurants signed on this year — the previous record was 391 in the summer of 2017 — as organizer NYC & Company waived fees to participate in the semi-annual program. Restaurants in Manhattan normally pay $2,800 while eateries in the outer boroughs typically pay $1,500, according to NYC & Company.
Last year, just 17 restaurants in the boroughs outside Manhattan participated in the program. That number has ballooned to 184 — including 78 in Brooklyn alone — for the upcoming promotion.
“Restaurants and restaurant workers need our support now more than ever,” said the agency’s chief executive, Fred Dixon in a statement. “It was important to us that all eateries across the five boroughs had the opportunity to participate.”
Participating restaurants including Babbo, Blue Smoke, Red Rooster, Pastis, Quality Eats, Mercer Kitchen and Bar Boulud are offering lunch or dinner with one side dish for $20.21.
The 29-year-old program is popular with diners who see it as an opportunity to try out restaurants that might ordinarily be out of their price range. In the past, reservations for some popular eateries could be hard to score during the promotion.
Pera SoHo, a Turkish eatery serving Mediterranean cuisine, has always participated in Restaurant Week and owner Burak Karacam says he is not stocking up differently for the delivery only promotion. “If and when we see an uptick in delivery orders we are positioning ourselves to scale up,” he told The Post. “The fee would have been very difficult to justify this year.”
RedFarm owner Ed Schoenfeld said his two Chinese eateries have already been doing a brisk delivery business. that could increase next week, he predicted. “I think Restaurant Week To Go will help everyone.”
RedFarm may serve up “a portion of fried rice and a couple of dumplings and and egg roll,” Schoenfeld said, “and for a week we can make an investment and include something sexy.”
This year the program is seen as more of an economic necessity than in years past because the low price point is generally not a profit booster for most restaurants.
MasterCard is sponsoring the event, offering pre-registered diners a $10 rebate for all orders over $20.21 while food ordering and delivery companies including GrubHub, BentoBox, Bbot and Tock are offering restaurants a discount on their fees during the promotion, NYC & Company said.