Colin MacLean, co-owner of The Crown Grill on Broadway, foresaw a routine night at the upscale restaurant.
“On a Tuesday night in March you don’t expect to be scrambling,” he said.
But scramble his staff did earlier this week.
“We had four times the number of people who reserved [tables] show up,” he said. “It was wonderful.”
The turnout was the result of Saratoga County Restaurant Week. Promoted by WJKE 101.3 (The Jockey), the deals through Sunday offer three-course fixed-price meals at select restaurants, complementing a similar restaurant week held in Saratoga Springs just before the onset of winter and sponsored by the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau.
“It has been a long, cold winter,” MacLean said. “This has had very positive results” getting people out.
Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, said the biggest payoff of such a promotion is “it gives people an excuse to go out to dinner and find a different restaurant.”
“They often find a different favorite,” Shimkus added.
Ray Morris, owner of Lillian’s Restaurant, said the crowds this week have been mixed: “We get some new faces and we get the tried and true.” Morris continued that people are drawn to deals, whether it’s fine dining or a sales at Macy’s.
“It’s basically a coupon world out there,” he said.
Restaurateurs along Saratoga Springs’ main thoroughfare said an additional week of deals has helped businesses ahead of the busy spring and summer seasons.
“It seems to be working just fine,” said Nicci Miller, general manager of Wheatfields Restaurant & Bar. “A lot of the entrees served in the evening were the result of Restaurant Week.”
Like others in the business, Miller said two special weeks a year is enough. Besides, next week Wheatfields’ patio opens, meaning regardless of temperatures, a long winter is over.