Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chicago Restaurant Week expands for 2012 with ways for CCTB non-dining members to participate

Question: If you’re not a restaurant, how can you participate in Chicago Restaurant Week 2012?
Answer: Host a food-themed special event or activity!

Now in its fifth year, Chicago Restaurant Week is the largest dining event of its kind in the Midwest. The 10-day food celebration will run February 17 – 26, 2012 and restaurants throughout the entire metro Chicago area will offer prix fixe menus at $22, $33 and $44 for lunch and dinner. Last year, Chicago Restaurant Week served 377,000+ diners in 207 participating restaurants and generated $19.68 million in direct spending for Chicago’s restaurant industry.

New for 2012, the CCTB is running a $625k consumer ad campaign targeting a 500-mile drive market to encourage visitation to Chicago during January and February. The Chicago Restaurant Week website ( will feature special February hotel rates at tiered pricing of $89, $119 and $149.

Additionally, the website will feature food-themed events and activities hosted by CCTB non-restaurant members. It’s a way for your brand to be part of Chicago Restaurant Week and get exposed to hundreds of thousands of hungry diners – both residents and visitors – via

The kinds of events are only limited by your imagination. Below are the primary categories we’ll use to organize these events, along with real examples of food-themed special events that are in line with the kinds of activities we believe would complement Chicago Restaurant Week:

• Tours & Attractions
o Example: Chicago Architecture Foundation’s “Appetite for Design”
• Museums, Galleries & Exhibitions
o Example: Art Institute of Chicago’s “A Feast for the Eyes” Mini-Tour
• Theater & Performing Arts
• Music & Comedy
• Shopping

To participate, it is NOT necessary to offer a discount. It’s more important that you create a food-themed event or activity that would appeal to residents and visitors alike as they’re making plans for their participation in Chicago Restaurant Week.

Generally speaking, events should be scheduled no earlier than February 3, after the CCTB’s kick-off media event on February 2, and no later than February 28. If you’re creating special activities, such as a food-inspired tour, it’s appropriate to offer the activity for the entire month of February, if you wish.

How do you qualify to participate?
Just send your great idea for a special food-themed event or activity that you’ll host and manage. Email by December 1; be sure to include a brief description of the event and details, such as:

· Start/End dates
· Event name and description
· Event URL
· Venue name and address

They'll review all submissions by December 10 and accepted events will be featured on the Chicago Restaurant Week microsite and starting in January.

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