As NYC Restaurant Week spreads around world, some worry it’s too big

Global Business

Over the course of it’s 24 year long history, New York Restaurant Week has become a bi-annual event marked by locals and tourists alike. This year New York Restaurant Week grew to a record number and cities around the world are imitating the program, hoping to replicate some of it’s success. But has Restaurant Week become too big for it’s own good? CCTV America’s Shraysi Tandon reports from New York.

As NYC Restaurant Week spreads around world, some worry it's too big

Over the course of it's 24 year long history, New York Restaurant Week has become a bi-annual event marked by locals and tourists alike. This year New York Restaurant Week grew to a record number and cities around the world are imitating the program, hoping to replicate some of it's success. But has Restaurant Week become too big for it's own good? CCTV America's Shraysi Tandon reports from New York. In the nearly three-week time frame, New York's participating restaurants offer three-course lunches for $25 a head and three-course dinners for $48. Participating restaurants are chosen carefully, experts said. Not only must they offer a substantial discount, they also need to achieve a certain level quality based on different ratings systems that include Yelp, Zagat and Tripadvisor. Despite the strict participating rules, some critics say New York's restaurant week has become too big for it's own good. The organizers, however, are certain to exercise caution. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then New York's restaurant week has plenty to be proud of. Not only has the program been replicated in major cities across the U.S., but it's also made it's way to places like other gastronomy hotbeds such as London, Delhi, Paris and Shanghai. New York's restaurant week takes place twice a year, with a winter edition that typically starts in the middle of January, and a summer edition that happens sometime in June.

In the nearly three-week time frame, New York’s participating restaurants offer three-course lunches for $25 a head and three-course dinners for $48.

Participating restaurants are chosen carefully, experts said. Not only must they offer a substantial discount, they also need to achieve a certain level quality based on different ratings systems that include Yelp, Zagat and Tripadvisor.

Despite the strict participating rules, some critics say New York’s restaurant week has become too big for it’s own good. The organizers, however, are certain to exercise caution.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then New York’s restaurant week has plenty to be proud of. Not only has the program been replicated in major cities across the U.S., but it’s also made it’s way to places like other gastronomy hotbeds such as London, Delhi, Paris and Shanghai.

New York’s restaurant week takes place twice a year, with a winter edition that typically starts in the middle of January, and a summer edition that happens sometime in June.


Shanghai Restaurant Week enters 7th year, expands elsewhere in China

Shanghai has held a Restaurant Week for the last seven years and the program has also expanded to five other cities in China, with 400 participating restaurants.

International Channel of Shanghai reporter Chen Tong reports.

Shanghai Restaurant Week enters 7th year, expands elsewhere in China

Shanghai has held a Restaurant Week for the last seven years and the program has also expanded to five other cities in China, with 400 participating restaurants. International Channel of Shanghai reporter Chen Tong reports. Christopher Pitts brought his cooking skill to Shanghai six years ago, and now runs a European-style restaurant near the bund. As a high-end restaurant, the average price at Pitts's place is more than 400 yuan ($61) per person per meal, much higher than the local standard. So, to make sure everyone knows how good the food is, his restaurant began joining Shanghai's restaurant week for the past three years. China's restaurant week has been an annual event in Shanghai since 2009. It takes place twice a year once in March and once in September. Lasting for the whole week, the event offers special discounts, 128 yuan ($20) for a three-course lunch and 258 ($40) for dinner, much less than they typically charge. The event has now expanded to Beijing and cities including Hangzhou and Suzhou. Chefs who want to join the event pay 4,000 yuan ($611) to the organizer, Dining City. Most of the restaurants participating in Shanghai's restaurant week offer western-style cuisine, rather than catering to the taste of most Shanghainese. And while they say they are offering discount menus, they are still more expensive than many would be willing to pay. Dining City says 90 percent of the patrons are new and that the restaurants are not relying on the event to make money, but more as a tool to promote themselves.

Christopher Pitts brought his cooking skill to Shanghai six years ago, and now runs a European-style restaurant near the bund. As a high-end restaurant, the average price at Pitts’s place is more than 400 yuan ($61) per person per meal, much higher than the local standard.

So, to make sure everyone knows how good the food is, his restaurant began joining Shanghai’s restaurant week for the past three years.

China’s restaurant week has been an annual event in Shanghai since 2009. It takes place twice a year once in March and once in September. Lasting for the whole week, the event offers special discounts, 128 yuan ($20) for a three-course lunch and 258 ($40) for dinner, much less than they typically charge.

The event has now expanded to Beijing and cities including Hangzhou and Suzhou. Chefs who want to join the event pay 4,000 yuan ($611) to the organizer, Dining City.

Most of the restaurants participating in Shanghai’s restaurant week offer western-style cuisine, rather than catering to the taste of most Shanghainese.

And while they say they are offering discount menus, they are still more expensive than many would be willing to pay.

Dining City says 90 percent of the patrons are new and that the restaurants are not relying on the event to make money, but more as a tool to promote themselves.