Research Outline

Restaurant Week Research: United States


To understand how many restaurant weeks are hosted in the United States annually. An ideal response would provide some kind of understanding of the size of the restaurant week market by the number of restaurant weeks, their estimated sales, and the number of organizers. Additionally, to know who some major organizers are.

Early Findings

Caveats to the Research

  • There is no publicly available source that provides the United States Market Size of Restaurant Week. However, we were able to provide insights into this event.
  • As a reminder, Wonder only uses publicly available sources. We do not have access to paid databases or paywalled reports, but we can cite them in research for reference only [in case purchase is desired]. If that is of interest, that would clearly have to be communicated to us in any reply. However, no indication of paid resources to add value to this research was seen in the discovery phase.

Restaurant Week: United States

  • "Restaurant week is an event where restaurants offer reduced or fixed price menus, so customers can try many types of food that may normally be out of their price range. Typically, it is mid- and upper-range establishments that join restaurant week, but any restaurant can take part in the event. Restaurant week appeals to locals and tourists alike, and most operations that participate see increased traffic during the occasion."
  • It is not a fixed event, like Black History Month which occurs at the same time each year. Restaurant week can be at any time throughout the year.
  • "While the original event was only one week-long, nowadays most restaurant week events last anywhere from two weeks to a month. The event is typically organized by the chamber of commerce or local tourist organizations"
  • COVID-19 has devastated the restaurant industry world-wide and many restaurants have opted not to participate in Restaurant Weeks as a result.
  • New York City is having a Restaurant Week to Go, this year as dining in, at this moment, is not allowed. It started on January 25 and will continue until February 28, 2021. This event is organized by NYC & Company. According to Forbes, this is the oldest Restaurant Week program in the nation. At the time publishing, 570 restaurants had signed on for the event.
  • "Since restaurants' budgets are tight, the decision was made to waive the substantial fee required for participating in the event this time, which seems to have helped since a record number of establishments have signed up. Previously, the entry fee was $2,800 for locations in Manhattan and $1,500 for any in the other boroughs. Included in that fee was entry into both the summer and winter restaurant weeks and an annual membership in NYC & Company. To offset the costs, both last summer's and this winter's in-person events were canceled, the company partnered with MasterCard (the main sponsor) and Stella Artois to help pull off the event."
  • There is now a sub category of Restaurant Week called Black Restaurant Week. Houston is just one city that hosts this. In 2020, it kicked off on July 10th. "Black Restaurant Week works a little differently [in Houston] than its best-known counterpart, Houston Restaurant Weeks. Restaurants normally pay a fee to be part of BRW and then keep the profits they bring in during the week. This year, the lowest tier to participate is free, which helped increase the amount of participating restaurants from 30 to 60. Notable restaurants range from mainstay Lucille’s to Sawyer Yards newcomer Fainmous BBQ. Food trucks and catering companies are also included."

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • As discussed at the top of this document, there are no publicly available sources that can answer the research question. We are given one hour in the initial research phase and during that time we scoured publicly available databases and credible sources. There is nothing that provides a precompiled list of statistics or data surrounding the number of restaurant weeks, their estimated sales, and the number of organizers. This is not possible. However, we have thought of some creative ways where some insights could be gathered, and that is reflected in our scopings below.
  • We feel that we could hand curate some more well-known Restaurant Week events in the United States and provide any statistics, data, and information surrounding them. This will be done the way we presented the New York City event and the Houston event in the early findings above. We were able to provide the estimated number of restaurants, along with the organizer. We did not find anything regarding sales, but that is because the event we located was for this year [2021], and the event is not over. Moving forward we could only look at 2020 events, where the sales figures might be mentioned.
  • Obviously COVID-19 has ravaged the restaurant industry and no one knows when it will recover as there are different lockdown measures throughout the United States affecting restaurants differently. For example, things are open in Florida, but California has draconian lockdowns. If information surrounding Restaurant Week is desired PRIOR to COVID-19, we could take a look at 2019 data, and a scoping will be available for that as well.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS for any scoping, do not use the customized next steps option. Please comment in the appropriate comment box.