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NYC Wants In-Person Dining Back. Will Restaurant Week Be the Ticket?

The promotion returns, inflation and all. With a longer run-time, varying price points and record signups, the city hopes consumers are convinced.

Indoor diners at Copinette Restaurant & Bar.
Indoor diners at Copinette Restaurant & Bar.Photographer: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg

At Copinette, a Midtown Manhattan restaurant serving up French-influenced American cuisine a block from the East River, last Monday felt like a Friday. The flurry of activity carried into the following day, when co-owner Amy Babic heard customers remark on how full the dining room was for a Tuesday night — so busy, in fact, they were already running out of the week’s ingredients.

A key driver behind the customer influx is NYC Restaurant Week, a bi-annual event run by the city’s marketing arm where discounted pre-fixe menus try to lure patrons out of their apartments. The promotion couldn’t come at a more pivotal time for the region’s still-struggling local businesses. After more than two years of varying occupancy during evolving stages of the pandemic, eateries are desperately trying to entice sit-down diners back through their doors.