Western New York offers many cultural signposts, but none are more embraced and cherished than local, independent restaurants. These neighborhood restaurants provide a showcase for our regional identity. Restaurant Weeks have taken off across the country, but it would be hard to find a region where the concept has been more successful than Western New York. Starting with just 60 participants back in 2009, Local Restaurant Week's popularity has skyrocketed to 200.
Local Restaurant Week is about celebrating the local independently owned restaurants in Western New York and promoting our unique cultural scene. Whether enjoying a Bills or Sabres game, viewing artwork at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, or taking-in a play at Shea's, Western New York is full of culture. These cultural moments don't just belong to museums, symphonies, or in the edifices of landmark buildings. They are captured and repeated daily in the breaking of bread among family and friends and in the sharing of a great meal at a favorite restaurant. Food is culture. In Western New York, our food culture runs deep!
What better way to celebrate our regional food culture than by going out with your friends, grabbing a bite to eat, and enjoying all that our community has to offer. Not only does Local Restaurant Week give consumers the opportunity to be adventurous and try new restaurants by offering Dining Features starting at $20.14, but it also encourages them to skip national chain restaurants in favor of supporting local independently owned restaurants. Profits from each dollar spent at your locally-owned, independent restaurant stay right here in WNY and help make our community stronger.
In the tumultuous winter of 2009, Mike Andrzejewski, owner of SeaBar, Cantina Loco, and Mike A's, decided the time had come for Western New York to embrace the Restaurant Week promotional concept popular in larger cities around the country.
He contacted Peter Longo of the WNY Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, who along with Daniel Garvey, treasurer of the New York State Restaurant Association, quickly mobilized the local food service community to support the idea.
The team engaged the staff at LocalFoodService.com, an online Community for WNY Food Service Professionals, to facilitate bringing the Local Restaurant Week promotion to life. The Local Food Service team quickly designed and built a website to promote the event and secured the coveted LocalRestaurantWeek.com URL to support it.
The Food Service Industry has been very good to our parent company, Food Service Enablers, Inc. While the majority of our customers are from around the United States, we have a special place in our hearts for the WNY community. After all, WNY is our home too. These restaurant owners, chefs, and staff are our friends and colleagues. Whatever we can do to support our unique local independent restaurants has become a mission for our team, and we've invested tens of thousands of our own dollars to support the cause.
Our Local Restaurant Week team has ten events under its belt and is excited to bring you another successful event. We work hard making sure we do our best to promote and celebrate the incredible restaurants that call the neighborhoods of Western New York home. Help us spread the word and show your support of our incredibly tasty local restaurant scene.
Remember to "Dine Often. Dine Local. Dine Well!"