Sunday, January 16, 2011

Restaurant Week: You Get What You Pay For

Quinn's comprehensive and absolutely necessary post on A2 Restaurant Week reminded me of a blog post that I read late last year regarding whether or not Ann Arbor's Restaurant Week actually provided economic benefits to diners. Unfortunately, I neglected to save the link, so if anyone knows what I'm referring to, let me know in the comments and I'll link to it.

As Quinn noted, lunch runs $12 and dinner runs $25, with some specials. But dinner at Grizzly Peak, if you picked the Calamari, the Shiitake Chicken, and the Black and Tan brownie, would normally cost $27. Does $2 worth of savings justify the added hassle of reservations, crowded restaurants, and limited menu options? That's a personal choice, but keep in mind that at some places it may not be worth it.

Moreover, a friend who has a lot of experience in the restaurant industry notes that restaurants often seek out bulk deals for Restaurant Week and then build their menus around those supplies. And when cooking in bulk, it's often more efficient to par-cook (partially cook, wait, and then finish) meats and fish, which, unsurprisingly, isn't the ideal method of preparing a steak. Eating at Restaurant Week may be more akin to eating catered food, which can be hit or miss.

All this isn't to say that you should cancel your reservation - but be mindful of what you order, where you go, and whether or not you're actually saving enough money for the trip to be worth it.

1 comment:

  1. GH, you should use your newly acquired economics skills to do an in depth analysis of all the restaurant week options.