ABERDEEN Restaurant Week has been praised for offering a feast of delights for discerning diners – and a major boost for the restaurants, cafes and bars taking part.
As the foodie fortnight, organised by Aberdeen Inspired, heads towards its midway point after launching on Monday, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from the public and businesses – and it has even been lauded in the Scottish Parliament.
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A total of 81 venues are taking part in the biggest Aberdeen Restaurant Week to date, and they have seen thousands of diners flocking through their doors to enjoy a dazzling array of cuisines with fantastic deals and special menus.
Social media has been swamped with people posting about their great experiences and picking out their personal highlights of the fine food – and deals – they have enjoyed. That level of success and enthusiasm is expected to continue until the event ends on Sunday, 4th February.
The Atrium on Chapel Street had more than 1,000 reservations in the first week of the festival alone, while Sweet Mumma’s Kitchen on Palmerston Road sold out of flatbreads on the first day.
Ryan Clark, Co-owner of The Atrium added “Once again Aberdeen Restaurant Week has been fantastic for us with over 1,000 people booked in this week already.
“January can be pretty tough at times for hospitality, so this level of trade is amazing. Aberdeen Inspired continue to do a great job organising and promoting Aberdeen Restaurant Week which delivers real benefits to the city.”
The McGinty’s Group has six venues involved in the foodie fortnight and they are all doing a roaring trade, said marketing and sales manager Martin Widerlichner.
“All of our venues see an increase in footfall during Aberdeen Restaurant Week. We highly encourage booking in advance to avoid any disappointment, but walk-in custom is also welcome,” he said.
“This event is a fantastic initiative for the city and we find that customers enjoy a good deal at this time of the year, especially following a busy Christmas period. Many Aberdeen Restaurant Week customers became regulars following the initiative and we are hoping for more of the same this time around.”
Also tucking into foodie fortnight’s success is Gidi Grill on Union Street, said co- owner Eniola Odejayi.
“The feedback in the restaurant has been fantastic. The exclusive Aberdeen Restaurant Week tapas menu which showcases our West African and Caribbean- inspired cuisine is giving customers who have not yet dined at our restaurant the opportunity to try as many of our dishes as possible at a great price.
“We hope that these new customers will then come back to try out the wide range of dishes on our full menu.”
Aberdeen Performing Arts said restaurant week has been a star performer for them, too, putting The Terrace restaurant at His Majesty’s Theatre in the limelight.
Their customer experience manager – hospitality and events Lynn Hackett said: “Aberdeen Restaurant Week has been a great success in The Terrace so far. We’ve had new and current customers in to sample our special menu and it has been great to showcase our dishes and stunning surroundings.
“This week has shown The Terrace as an ideal place for lunch or an evening meal showcasing that we are so much more than pre-show dining.”
And the success of Aberdeen Restaurant Week – which has been supported by a £5,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Regional Food Fund – has not gone unnoticed in Holyrood either.
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament praising the event and wishing “all those taking part well in making the most of this opportunity.”
Mr Stewart said: “I hope it’s a great success and helps give our fantastic local businesses a much-needed boost.”
Shona Byrne, project manager for Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We are thrilled at the overwhelming response to Aberdeen Restaurant Week and the huge numbers of people flocking into the city to enjoy it. This underlines once again just how much people love the foodie fortnight.
“It is not just for diners, though. We are delighted the venues taking part – from local independents to national names – are all reporting a real boost in their business at what is traditionally a quiet time of year for the hospitality sector. We are proud that Aberdeen Restaurant Week supports thousands of jobs in this vital industry.
“Even better is that it is far from over and there is still plenty of time to visit old favourites, find new hidden gems and explore the fantastic restaurants, bars, and cafes we are so lucky to have here in Aberdeen. Tuck in and enjoy.”
Aberdeen Restaurant Week sees venues offering menus priced at £10, £15, £20, £25 or £30 or a tasting menu with the price set by the restaurant.
You can find the list of places taking part in Aberdeen Inspired’s Aberdeen Restaurant Week here.