A choice of 600 mouthwatering dishes will be on offer in 40 City Centre restaurants during Belfast Restaurant Week which runs from 23 to 29 September. A joint venture between Belfast One and Destination CQ, the initiative will tickle the taste buds of diners seeking scrumptious steaks, Vegan feasts and delicious dining experiences with Asian, Italian and Mediterranean influences.
Diners will be encouraged to explore the number one shopping and leisure destination in Northern Ireland and stop off for lunch, dinner or the now famous Big Belfast Brunch – available in participating restaurants on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September.
Gareth Neill of Destination CQ welcomed the return of Belfast Restaurant Week and said: “We’re delighted to be bringing back Restaurant Week on the 23rd to the 29th of September, 2019. Restaurant Week in February was a huge success right across the city and we are delighted to be working with our partners at Belfast One again on the next instalment.
“We delivered a fantastic offering for the businesses and residents of Belfast. The idea behind it was to drive footfall into the city centre after 5:00 PM, specifically during Monday to Thursday when it’s traditionally a lot quieter in the evening economy. It was with great aplomb that we were successfully nominated for “best marketing campaign” from the 2019 Belfast Business Awards.
“Post event survey work indicated that the initiative drew an extra £150,000 of spend into the city’s economy over the five days of the activity. Year on year sales for a lot of the restaurants was on average around 59% up which was great to see. That was really the rationale to go back to the restaurants and say, ‘Do you want to do it again?’
“It’s been taken up by around 40 restaurants and we’re expanding the offering to also concentrate on lunchtime menus for businesses, office employees, people who just want to pop out for a quick snack in the afternoon, because again, that is a great time to spend some money in the city centre.”
Julie McCullagh, Marketing Manager, Belfast One, added: “Belfast Restaurant Week has fast become one of the most exciting and busiest weeks for restaurants in the Belfast City Centre events calendar. We first brought the joint initiative to our local restaurants in February and we had more than 30 sign up, generating more than £150,000 for the local economy and driving an almost 20% increase in midweek evening footfall year on year in just seven days. This autumn we’re excited to further develop Belfast Restaurant Week to include a Taste The City Producers Market where local chefs will demonstrate their culinary skills for foodies to recreate at home.”
As well as dining out at some of Belfast’s finest restaurants from as little as £10 per person, those who crave creating their own instagrammable recipes at home can go along to the Taste The Island supported Taste The City Producers Market on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September in Writer’s Square where they will be inspired with demos by chefs from Belfast restaurants before stocking up on locally sourced and grown produce to take home, as well as live music and family fun from 10.00am to 4.00pm each day.
Gareth added: “We’re also bookending Restaurant Week with our Taste The Island Activity, which will see us invite local restaurateurs, chefs, and province-wide producers to carry out a range of food and drink demonstrations Writer’s Square as part of Taste the City.
“That is Saturday and Sunday, the 20th and 29th of September, from 12pm until 5pm, and will be a great opportunity to showcase the city chefs at restaurants and the absolutely fantastic food and beverage scene that Northern Ireland has to offer.”
Aine Kearney, Business Support and Events Director, Tourism NI said: “We are delighted to offer support to Belfast Restaurant Week which was funded through Tourism NI’s Taste the Island Events Scheme. The scheme was developed for festivals and events to enable them to motivate both local and international visitors to enjoy the high quality produce available here. Belfast Restaurant Week offers an exciting programme of events and experiences and I would encourage everyone to taste the finest food and drink our local chefs and producers have to offer.”
Belfast Restaurant Week, 23 to 29 September. Lunch from 12 noon to 2.00pm, Monday to Friday, is priced at £10.00 per person, dinner from 5.00pm to 7.00pm, Monday to Thursday, is priced at £15.00 per person and advance booking is essential. Participating restaurants and menus can be found at www.belfastrestaurantweek.org. Follow Belfast Restaurant Week on Instagram at @BelfastRestaurantWeek19
Gareth Neill of Destination CQ and Julie McCullagh of Belfast One celebrate the return of Belfast Restaurant Week in 40 restaurants across the City Centre from 23 to 29 September. www.belfastrestaurantweek.org