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Travel Tip: The Fine Print of Restaurant Week

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Every winter, big cities launch something called Restaurant Week, where you can get a fixed-price meal at a number of restaurants. It can be a great deal, but only if you do it right. The idea is that you can get access to even the most high end restaurants at an affordable price. Restaurants usually run the promotion in the slow winter season so they can increase business and hopefully attract new customers.

Of course if you ask most owners and waiters, they’ll tell you a different story. The pay off isn’t so great when they have to deal with increased volume, which means pushing out a lot of food without a lot of time to pay attention to the quality. And they’re not necessarily making more money, which could also affect your service. You’re limited to a very specific menu, which doesn’t always mean the best items in the restaurant. In fact, plenty of people come in for the deal and end up ordering off the regular menu.

As always, you have to read the fine print. In many cities, that set price doesn’t apply on weekends and doesn’t include drinks, tips or taxes…so, caveat emptor!

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