For the second consecutive year, Kansas City Restaurant Week is opening this Friday in the shadow of the Covid pandemic and supporters say it’s just as vital now for people to support the local dining scene.
“We’re encouraging people to ‘dine your way,'” said Jenny Wilson, director of partnerships and events for Visit KC.
“If you’re comfortable to go into a restaurant or prefer takeout and deliver, you can dine your way. The pandemic is still hitting restaurants hard and many are small and family-owned.
“This is a good time to give back to restaurants. Our message is be kind and tip well.”
Wilson was attending the kickoff event for Restaurant Week at J. Rieger & Co. in the East Bottoms. Eight restaurants, part of the 196 from throughout the metro signed up for the event, were offering samples along with specialty cocktails at the Rieger bar.
About 30 downtown restaurants are participating in the event that runs through Jan. 23 ranging from long-time stalwarts like Garozzo’s in Columbus Park to brash newcomers like Guy Fieri Dive and Taco Joint in the Power & Light District.
Restaurant Week was originally launched in Kansas City in 2010 as a chance to steer more business to dining rooms during the traditionally slow month of January.
“We are known as a foodie city,” said Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of Visit KC.
“It’s so exciting to showcase the opportunities for all the great food out there. Maybe people can go to a place they haven’t been to before.”
The 10-day dining event showcases the region’s culinary talents through special, multi-course menus at three affordable price tiers—$15, $35 and $45.
In addition to boosting the metro’s diverse culinary scene, 10 percent of proceeds for every Restaurant Week meal sold will benefit three local charities. Over the course of its first 12 years, more than $3 million has been raised by restaurants and diners for local causes.
In 2022, benefiting organizations include the Guadalupe Centers—the 2022 featured charity—in addition to the Visit KC Foundation and the GKCRA Education Foundation.
As the largest Hispanic organization in Kansas City since 1919, Guadalupe Centers serves more than 12,000 men, women and children each year through its various programs, according to a press release.
Donations from this year’s event will support the Centers’ catering program, which provides healthy, nutritious food to vulnerable individuals and families in the KC metro area, including homebound seniors and students within the Guadalupe Charter Schools.
For more information about the 13th Annual Kansas City Restaurant Week—including menus, reservations and a free mobile app—go to KCRestaurantWeek.com.
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