The sense and nonsense of restaurantacties

During the National Restaurant Week from 11 to 17 march offer a lot and sometimes very fancy restaurants a low-cost three – or four-course menu. In addition, there are similar actions, such as of TheFork at Albert Heijn. What is the meaning of this for restaurants and gourmets?

The netherlands has approximately 13.463 restaurants, according to figures from HorecaDNA from 2018. Of these restaurants have 8.309 a foreign kitchen and 5.154 a Dutch-French kitchen. 110 restaurants have one or more Michelin stars.

Approximately 650 restaurants will participate in the National Restaurant Week, which is currently busy, and Sunday, march 17 ends. A lot of restaurants and pubs, a star on the pocket (41 restaurants) offer during this people’s action week is also a menu for a reduced amount (from 28,50 euros for three courses).

Also Nikolien Verstraelen, the owner of a restaurant in Nijmegen, the netherlands. “The goal is that visitors with a positive feeling go away. And who knows, they talk about it later with other people.”

Week of promotion for restaurants

The National Restaurant Week is for the thirteenth time organized. The idea originated in the crisis, when people have less money to spending on a meal in a restaurant. Still, the week in the spring and autumn takes place, intended as a week of promotion for restaurants, says initiator and organizer Jeroen van den Brink DiningCity.

“We are an expensive restaurant and therefore not accessible to everyone.”
Nikoline Verstraelen, restauranteigenaar

Some people during the people’s action week, book a table, see it mainly as a possibility to have elegant dinner without the main prize to pay. “The reservations in the highest segment (such as cases with one or more Michelin stars, eds.) go the fastest,” says Van der Brink.

Verstraelen: “We are an expensive restaurant and therefore not accessible to everyone, such as for larger groups. During the week we see more families and people who cheap out of food.”

Three years in a row

Yldou van Dijk (30, photo) is such a visitor. She has already spent three years in a row reserved a table during the people’s action week: “this is an easy way to find new restaurants to try, without a lot of money to have lost.”

It is not necessarily for a michelin starred restaurant. “I like going to a restaurant where I would not immediately think of, and eat, preferably something that I personally not so fast.”

Dozens of actions

According to the spokesman of the Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) is the week a commercial action DiningCity. “It stands in a row with dozens of other actions, such as The Fork (formerly IENS, eds.) at Albert Heijn, where you can save for a free second main course.”

Restaurants to pay for the National Restaurant Week is a contribution to the organization to participate. Verstraelen find it an expensive joke: she carries more than 500 euro per year to the organizer.

The KHN advises restaurants to think carefully about what a given action will lead to and whether they have the discount can offer. “Our advice is to stay to count,” says president Robèr Willemsen. The action brings probably new guests that otherwise would not come. But the key question is whether they come back.”

“It is the people who are on a bargain off’

People can for a discounted price a restaurant to try. But they certainly back? “On the basis of the reviews of guests, we see that 68 per cent set to come back to want to come. That number is all the years of constant,” says DiningCity.

Regular visitor Of Dike says back have gone to restaurants where they are during the National Restaurant Week. “I like going out to eat and if a restaurant like that, than I would also, however, the ordinary price to pay for it.”

“If a restaurant like that, than I would also, however, the ordinary price to pay for it.”
Yldou van Dijk, visitor restaurant week

Lisa ten Holt of a participating restaurant in Utrecht thinks that her participation in the people’s action week, no additional business results. “It’s only happened five times that visitors of the Restaurant Week, they came back. The people who a bargain sound, then they do not come much more back. That’s a little Dutch.”

However, they participated in the week, because she hopes that her restaurant is a boost. “You’re talking to another audience, people who we normally might not. It sizzles the whole week, that gives something levendigs.”


  • Do you ever participated in a restaurantactie and what do you think of that? Leave a comment under this article.

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