Jun 6, 2022 - News

Triangle Restaurant Week comes as pandemic struggle continues

Change in OpenTable restaurant bookings
Data: OpenTable; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Triangle Restaurant Week's summer edition has arrived, and for some businesses it's just in time.

  • Restaurants in the area saw a dip in bookings in May, and OpenTable data show Raleigh is still down about 30% from 2019 levels.

Driving the news: Throughout this week, participating restaurants in the area will offer two- and three-course meals ranging from $15 to $40 as part of a "celebration of culinary excellence."

Why it matters: Eateries need help from events like this to get people back into their seats. The height of the pandemic was devastating, and recent traffic numbers indicate the trouble isn't over.

  • After seeing some of the highest rates of reservations earlier this year since before 2020, restaurant bookings have been on the decline recently, OpenTable's state of the industry data show. Though it's unclear why.

What they're saying: "Restaurant week in the last couple of years has been rough because of the pandemic and now with the rising food costs and the worker shortages," Triangle Restaurant Week founder Damon Butler told ABC11. "It's really a tough time to be a restaurant owner."

The bottom line: Now's your chance to support local restaurants, experience some of the area’s finest dining and score a deal, all at the same time.

💭Lucille's thought bubble: I moved to Raleigh in February 2020, weeks before everything shut down. That made it hard for me to familiarize myself with a new city the best way I know how: through food. I know the pandemic isn’t over yet, but this week feels like a great opportunity to try some of the spots I’ve been eyeing for a long time.

💭Zach's thought bubble: Even for longtime residents of the Triangle, it can be hard to visit all of the buzzy restaurants in the region. Restaurant week can be a good reason to finally try out award-winning fares from places such as The Durham or Ko-An — or to just support a longtime favorite like Kipos or Sitti.

Check out the list of participating restaurants. Let us know which spots you end up checking out this week!


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