“Vermont Restaurant Week is an opportunity to explore and experiment with food and themes outside of our normal fare at 3 Squares Café. We have built a loyal following of guests who actively seek us out for our Restaurant Week menu, knowing that they are going to try something distinct and varied from our breakfast and panini offerings. Our restaurant week adventures have also helped to build our catering business by showcasing chef Matt’s eclectic skills and grasp of different culinary cultures.”
3 Squares Café, Vergennes
“Every year we do something different for Restaurant Week at Michael’s on the Hill. It’s always locally inspired. We usually pick a theme and always offer a value that may bring in someone who may not come otherwise. We’ve had a maple and ramp tasting, a celebration of local cheese, a Save the Bees menu with a focus on local honey, and a “soulful dinner” with mac and cheese and chicken fried steak.
This approach has been very successful for us. Restaurant Week is really busy! It is busier each year, and it is a great time of year to do it because it is typically not a busy time, so it’s certainly welcomed! We have found it to be a great way to get new customers. Many want to return to try the regular menu. Many say, “I can’t believe I’ve never been here before!”
At risk of sounding corny, we’ve found Vermont Restaurant Week to be a recipe for success. We have a lot of fun with it, do our best to promote our local producers and are busy during a normally blah time of year. No downside! This event has really built lots of momentum over the years.
Owner & Director of Special Events
Michael’s on the Hill, Waterbury
For one week of the year, we get to transform the Daily Planet into another restaurant. It allows us to break from the daily routine and showcase our creative talents. Additionally, it’s a chance to attract and impress new guests. The attention we’ve received has been incredible, and the customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive!
Our Restaurant Week menu is not something we take lightly. Theme ideas are something we talk about all year long. I’m extremely competitive by nature — so if every restaurant in Vermont is going to “compete” to get diners in during Restaurant Week, my menu has got to be the best. I pull out all the stops, and no detail is overlooked. The menu has to be creative and cutting-edge enough to attract diners. The experience has to be so unique and well-executed that Daily Planet becomes the talk of the town! Past experience has shown that guests really enjoy our whimsical themes and interactive dishes. Somehow, each year we’ve been able to raise the bar.
Restaurant Week has become one of the busiest, most profitable weeks of the year. And we’ve seen substantial increases in revenue each year we’ve participated. It’s also been a great way to strengthen our staff. It’s like a 10-day team-building workshop!
My advice to other restaurants is this: Dare to be different. Give Restaurant Week your maximum effort, and you will see amazing results. Put some love in your menu and exploit your strengths. Diners want to be wowed. They want the best that Vermont has to offer. The establishments that can recognize and provide that are the ones that thrive during Restaurant Week.
The Daily Planet, Burlington