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A New Take on an Old Promotion

March 12, 2018

Happy Monday! We’re getting further into the unlocking. Can you feel it?

I’m feeling the pressure to finish up my big cooking projects while the garage can still be used as a refrigerator. I’ve got a mega Cuban black bean project, one more quick chana masala, one last batch of chicken stock (hopefully), and just yesterday I picked up a whole pile of lamb necks. Oh yeah. I’m really excited about that last one.

The cooking shouldn’t be all that hard to squeeze into the rhythm of everyday life. The eating, on the other hand, is going to be more challenging. Just because there is so much going on.

And I haven’t even told you about Yelp Restaurant Week.

Anybody who has read this blog for any amount of time can probably recite by memory my complaints about the way these promotions are typically run. Most restaurants feel compelled to participate based on some kind of peer pressure, even if they don’t really believe in the promotion itself.

And you can tell by looking at the menu who is trying to win over new customers, and who is just going through the motions. But far too many restaurants opt to offer inferior food that isn’t on their typical menu, so that they don’t lose too much money on packed houses of people who will likely never come back to dine at full price.

Yelp Restaurant Week tries to solve all of these issues.

There’s no hard sell to get restaurants on board. Heck, there are probably a bunch of restaurants that don’t even know this is happening. And that’s on me. I am the guy who is organizing this locally as part of my job as Community Ambassador for Yelp.

That said, the list of participating restaurants is fantastic, and I’m really excited to have them all on board.

Here’s the best part: There are no Yelp Restaurant Week menus.

The menu is the restaurant’s regular menu. The offer is that from March 18 through March 24, when you use the Yelp Mobile App to check into a participating business, all of your food is 30% off.


It’s a big offer. And the hope is that it’s big enough to get people in the door of places they haven’t tried yet. Of course with the end goal of making people fall in love with a new place, and getting them back in for another taste at full freight sometime down the road.

So if you haven’t tried out the new menu that Chef Chris put in place at More Perreca’s, this is a great time to do it.

Or if you’ve never been to Dave’s Gourmet Burgers, this offers a great excuse.

When I told a friend that Sake Bon Japanese Steakhouse in Clifton Park was on the list, he told me that he eats there all the time and loves it. Which is funny because I had never heard of the place before. But now we have plans to meet for dinner.

I’ve been told I have to try The Hill at Muza again, specifically for the fried cheese sandwich. So I’m going to try and get it in there during Yelp Restaurant Week.

Fortunately, I feel like I can pass on Slidin’ Dirty in both Troy and Schenectady, since I go to both of those places quite a bit. Still, I haven’t tried the new french fries. Although I don’t know how anyone can eat fries when there are Fravos to be had.

It was only last week that I went to Aperitivo in Schenectady, but I was just there for dessert. Their menu looks mighty appealing.

Curry Leaf in Albany, Il Faro in Menands, Illium Cafe in Troy, and Tesoros Cafe in Schenectady are also participating. And these are all places I want to go as well. There may even be more restaurants signing on before the promotion starts this Saturday.

Which, incidentally, is the Jewish Food Festival. And the day after the Tour de Slice in Schenectady. Tonight I have an Official Yelp Event that’s all about ice cream at The Dutch Udder. Tuesday and Friday this week I’ve got big lunches on the books. Thursday I have a Yelp community dinner at Marrakesh in Clifton Park. And did I mention I’ve got a big dinner planned the night of the pizza tour too?

It’s like two weeks of solid eating. But somehow I will find my way through it. Exercise will play a role. And I’ve already got a bottle of ouzo on hand.

But back to Yelp Restaurant Week for just a second. You should check out the full promotion on the Yelp event page, and I would encourage you to submit an RSVP. By doing so, you’ll get email updates as the promotion evolves. Which will be key should a new place come on, or in the unlikely scenario one of the participating businesses runs into any operational snags.

The Yelp event page also has a few of those other conditions on it too, like the fact that this applies to food only and not to drinks, that it’s not combinable with other offers, and similar details. It’s worth giving a quick once-over.

I have to say, this is part of the fun of working for an Internet company. Yelp Restaurant Week is running in several cities across the country during this time frame. We’ve never done this before, so we’re going to see how it goes. Personally, I’m just thrilled that the Capital Region is able to get in on this.

And maybe—just maybe—if it’s a fantastic success, we’ll do it again. So I’m going to keep my fingers crossed, and in the meantime you can alert your friends. Hope to see you out and about.

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