With COVID-19 affecting the industry and every event, changes are coming to the annual fundraiser, but the weeks of dining for a good cause are still on — this time, with the option of takeout.
Here’s the timeline for this year’s Restaurant Week:
- Aug. 4: Reservation day, which is the reveal of participating restaurants.
- Aug. 28 - 30: Preview weekend dining is offered at select restaurants.
- Aug. 31 - Sept. 6: DFW Restaurant Week 2020.
- Sept. 6-27: As in previous years, some restaurants will extend their participation for additional weeks.
This year, the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope Home Inc. will receive smaller donations than previous years — 10% instead of 20% for each meal — so local restaurants can keep a larger share at a time when they most need it. As always, diners may contribute additional dollars to the charities during this annual fundraiser.
Al Biernat’s, a “star restaurant” (a top-10 fundraising donor for the event), is continuing to participate through curbside and delivery only.
"It’s already a huge challenge to space tables and guests, and when you are running (currently) 50%, [dine-in] just didn’t make sense, logistically or economically.” — Brad Fuller, Al Biernat's
“Restaurateurs are very busy trying to adjust and survive right now,” says Brad Fuller, director of operations for Al Biernat’s. “Every day you wake up and ask yourself, ‘What obstacles will I have to overcome today?' With that said, the show must go on, and we are doing all we can to provide a safe and quality experience for our guests.
“The reason that we will not be participating in dine-in Restaurant Week is because of the necessary restrictions in place for occupancy. Restaurant Week has been a highly popular event at Al Biernat’s drawing big crowds. It’s already a huge challenge to space tables and guests, and when you are running 50% [occupancy], it just didn’t make sense, logistically or economically.”
Dallas Restaurant Week started 23 years ago as a way to bring customers into restaurants during slower summer months. Since its inception, this annual effort has raised more than $10 million for its two beneficiaries.
Last year, the event raised over $1 million. It’s also NTFB’s largest annual fundraiser.
“…We are calling on the community to in turn also support these important local businesses,” NTFB president & CEO Trisha Cunningham said in a release Monday. “This year, diners are doubling the good by backing their favorite restaurants along with our mission at a time when we need it most.”