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Sonoran Restaurant Week aims to attract customers, boost revenue for Tucson restaurants after year of challenges



TUCSON, Arizona (KOLD News 13) – It’s Sonora Restaurant Week in Tucson and more than 50 restaurants are part of the third annual celebrations after a year of COVID-19 audits.

Laura Reese, the co-founder of Sonoran Restaurant Week, said last year the event is take away only, so this year they are keen to see customers safely back on the patios and indoors again.

“Tucson has some great food festivals where you can go to a certain place and try something from a restaurant on a plate and enjoy it that way, but we haven’t had events that actually got people into the restaurants.” “Said Reese.

Reese explained the importance of dining in a restaurant.

“It’s the ambiance, the decor, the music, the service from the staff, the smells and the sights,” Reese said. “You can enjoy all of this when you sit next to a friend or close family member.”

Each restaurant involved has a special menu that costs between $ 25 and $ 35. Reese said the purpose of the post-Labor Day event was due to the slow season, which historically occurs between September and October.

“In 2019 after the event, 81% of participating restaurants reported an increase in sales,” said Reese.

CJ Hamm, chef and partner at Saguaro Corners Restaurant and Bar, said they attended the event every three years and saw an increase in customers. He said they would not have survived last year without their loyal customer base and hope Sonora Restaurant Week will bring new customers to their small restaurant.

“Every time you attract new people, it definitely helps to attract more people, as long as you treat them right and give them good food,” said Hamm. “Advertising is huge and they (Visit Tucson) are doing a lot of it and they are doing good with it, so it helps all of us involved.”

Hamm said they will continue to offer take-away for those who are reluctant to eat at the restaurant. He said they have COVID-19 logs to keep their dinner as safe as possible.

“People are still cautious, and we make sure that we are aware of this and that we are careful ourselves,” said Hamm. “Business has definitely picked up speed, but there is no longer a full sense of normalcy, but it is becoming more normal.”

This event lasts until Sunday, September 19th. The San Xavier Co-op Farm is the non-profit partner this year. Sonora Restaurant Week held an event for the farm on September 10th to raise funds.

“We raise money for the farm, but there is no percentage of sales that restaurants have to donate to the organization,” Reese said. “This event really serves to give the restaurants financial support.”

All menus and participating restaurants are available on the Sonora Restaurant Week website.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.



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