In another sign that we may be turning the corner on the pandemic, Sacramento Restaurant Week will return this June with a new format. Instead of participating restaurants offering special three-course menus as they did in the past, diners will purchase discounted gift cards to participating restaurants.
Diners will be able to buy $25, $50 or $100 gift cards at a 10 percent discount, while restaurants will receive the full face value of the card. Corporate sponsors will pay the difference. “It’s a win-win for everybody,” says Margaret Schroeder, board member of the Sacramento chapter of the California Restaurant Association, which is running the promotion.
It’s a streamlined version of Restaurant Week designed to help restaurants get back on their feet after a year of battering by the pandemic. With California’s economy set to fully reopen on June 15, many restaurants are working to staff up and get ready for indoor dining. “With restaurants trying to find staff and place orders, we felt it was too complicated to ask them to put together a three-course menu,” Schroeder says. “What we want to do is keep things simple and get folks back in restaurants.”
Currently, the CRA is looking for corporate sponsors to fund the program. It already has a few, including the city of Sacramento, Yelp and a couple of real estate groups. Sponsorship levels range from $500 to 15,000.
Sacramento Restaurant Week will start June 4 and run through June 20. Unlike Dine Downtown, a similar event that promotes restaurants in downtown Sacramento, Restaurant Week will include the greater Sacramento region, including Roseville, Elk Grove and Folsom. Schroeder expects 40 to 50 restaurants to participate.
The discounted gift cards are on sale as of May 1. They can be used any time during Restaurant Week and after. (They won’t expire.)
For information about sponsorships, go to www.calrest.org/sacrw-sponsorships or contact the California Restaurant Association at (916) 878-1444 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Restaurant Week, including how to buy gift cards, go to www.cravesac.com.