Restaurant Week Promotions Gaining Online

It is restaurant week here in Boston, a two week promotion to encourage diners to try out someplace new. Offered twice a year, you could say that it has a very "˜seasonal’ trend. This is a good example of how localized events like restaurant week, which happens all across the country, can identify and target a hard to reach segment. I took a closer look at some of the traffic patterns building up to the event by week. The celebration officially started on August 9th and continues through to the 21st (minus Saturdays) and you can see the buildup of anticipation in the chart below. One thing that jumps out is the trend of the official site Boston USA versus resturantweekboston.com — the two sites were about in line until the kick off on the 9th when the Unofficial Site took off, but there is an easy answer for that, there are no menus available on Boston USA!

How many people are on the site this week? I’ll let you know after I finish booking my forth 3-course meal, but an interesting trend is that unique visitors for the month of July are up 2x over 2007, gearing up for the August promotion. The 2009 March event had an all time high with almost 55,000 hungry visitors but after looking at the counts for last week"¦ It’s safe to say that, using internet interest as a measuring stick, this will be the largest event to date. This may be from increased adoption of reservation booking online or the ever-present and looming economy. Some restaurant owners have already extended the offer to a third week (65 out of the over 200 participating locations) or even the entire month of August hoping to continue to stimulate business.

So go out, eat and enjoy, you still have plenty of time to take advantage of these great deals. I recommend Bacco in the north end, Chicken Florentine and a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon, (yeah I know it’s supposed to be white, but I like red). Make sure you set up your reservation in advance though; especially for that one restaurant you have been pining over going for the last 3 months. Thank you to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, American Express and all the participating restaurants, let’s keep this tradition alive! And marketers take note that quality content, like including menus, can push a site to the top and reach a desirable target segment.