Study affirms success of Eat Downtown Duluth Restaurant Week
A new study shows that Eat Downtown Duluth Restaurant Week --which will now also be held this fall -- increased sales for participating restaurants last year.
A new study shows that Eat Downtown Duluth Restaurant Week -which will now also be held this fall - increased sales for participating restaurants last year.
The event, which has in the past been held in the spring, will now also be held from Nov. 9-15. Organized by the Greater Downtown Council, restaurants offer fixed-price menus with multiple courses during lunch and dinner.
The council recently asked the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research to estimate the impact of the event held
last spring from March 31 to April 11, in which 19 restaurants participated. The goal was to compare sales of the restaurants during that time period from the previous year.
“We had anecdotal information on the campaign but really wanted to affirm its success,” said Kristi Stokes, president of the Greater Downtown Council.
The information is useful to restaurants and others involved in the effort, she said, and helped the council decide whether to hold a fall restaurant week.
The bureau estimated that the promotion generated $155,000 to $175,000 in additional sales during that period for those restaurants. Because only nine restaurants responded with a dollar amount for their sales, the bureau determined an average, said Monica Haynes, its director.
The total economic impact was between $220,000 and $249,000. That number takes into account additional spending by restaurants, for example, because of the initial spending of diners.
“It’s actually kind of surprising that this one event had as large of an impact as it did,” Haynes said, noting March sales might typically not be that high because of the time of year. “Having it be a community event, it really does attract people who might not otherwise eat out.”
Dinner prices have increased by $5 to $25 for this go-round, which Stokes said was done to adjust to the changing economy. Fifteen restaurants are participating, including Bellisio’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, 7 West Taphouse and Restaurant 301. The complete list can be found at downtownduluth.com, along with menus for each restaurant.
The event has been held in Duluth since 2010.