Newcastle Restaurant Week
Rebecca Wayman

NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week serves up six-figure boost for local economy

According to NE1, the company’s Newcastle Restaurant Week has boosted the city’s economy by over £600k.

The NE1 event, which was held in January, exceeded its previous records with a huge turnout. People were encouraged to eat out for £10-£15 per person at some of the city’s most popular restaurants.

The £600k boost came from 112 restaurants taking part between January 21-27. Over 45,000 vouchers were reportedly downloaded from NE1’s Get Into Newcastle website, thus receiving 1.7 million online visits - up 27 per cent compared to 2018.

Stephen Patterson, director of communications at NE1 Ltd, said: “We love the vibrancy that NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week creates in the city and to see Newcastle full of people on what would otherwise be quiet times of the year.

“The whole of the NE1’s events programme is designed to celebrate the quality and diversity of the city’s offer and provide compelling reasons for people to visit and take advantage of what is available in this great city.”

He continued: “Our events are designed to play to the city’s strengths and to raise awareness of what makes Newcastle unique while delivering more immediate economic returns for participating businesses and the local economy.

“Restaurant Week certainly delivers on both counts - creating a business boost for the city’s restaurant industry and focusing attention on the city and its vibrant restaurant scene.”

This year, the event’s dates were not announced until the New Year to prevent restaurants being ‘inundated’ with Restaurant Week bookings over Christmas.

This supposedly made the reservation period even busier with many of the restaurants almost fully booked in the week the dates were announced.

For 2019, NE1 has reported a 35 per cent average increase in trade for participating restaurants compared to January 2018’s Restaurant Week.

One local independent restaurant recently opened in Grey’s Quarter intu Eldon Square, Umai Mi was one of the newcomers to the event.

James Lau, director of Umai Mi, commented: “The team at Umai Mi had heard about the success of the NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week even before we’d opened our doors and so we were really keen to sign up.

“The event delivered for us and we are already looking forward to August and taking part in the next one. In the meantime, we are enjoying welcoming back many diners who were introduced to the restaurant during January’s NE1 Restaurant Week and who have already returned to sample other dishes on the menu.”

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