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26 January 2014, 06:00
More than 60 restaurants will take part in Restaurant Week as it returns to Newcastle for the seventh time.
It gets underway in Newcastle tomorrow (27th January) with a 360% increase in the number of restaurants taking part since the event was first launched in 2011.
From 27th January to the 2nd February, over 60 of the city's restaurants will take part in Restaurant Week which offers diners the opportunity to 'discover' new restaurants across the city for fixed priced menus of either £10 or £15 per head.
Newcastle has a vibrant restaurant scene with more restaurants per square mile than anywhere else in the North East of England.
In 2011, NE1 Ltd got together with some of the city's top restaurants to discuss what could be done and the Restaurant Week idea was born, modelled on a similar scheme that operates in New York City.
All the city's top restaurateurs saw the potential and were prepared to put aside their competitive rivalries to work together for the good of the industry.
13 of Newcastle's top restaurants were involved in the first event, now 3 years later, over 60 restaurants take part and the weeks.
One takes place in January, with the other in August.
Over 60% of Restaurant Week customers visiting 2 or more restaurants during the week with some dining out 7 nights during the week.
NE1's Restaurant Week is a unique formula, nowhere else in the UK operates an event like Newcastle.
Businesses that are involved in Restaurant Week experience, on average, a 43% increase in trade during the week.
Stephen Patterson from NE1 told Capital:
"It's grown hugely since we first launched it.
Over 18,000 people will come into the city to take advantage of Restaurant Week this year.
The restaurants themselves think it's fantastic because it's traditionally the quietest time of the year for custom and now it's one of the busiest.
It just underlines the fact that people are looking to indulge as long as there's a significant incentive and enticement to get them out of their homes and into the city centre.
Newcastle's the culinary capital of the North East of England - we have more restaurants in the square mile of the city centre than any other city centre in the north of England, so there's plenty of choice."