Restaurant Week kicks off on Friday in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley and, while I am sure I will be grabbing a bite or two out during the next few days, it won’t be anything off the special menus.
I have tried Restaurant Week in years past and it’s almost always a disappointment. Restaurants will privately tell you they hate it, those who work in them will openly tell you they hate it, and it’s hard to tell, exactly, why Palm Springs Restaurant Week even exists.
The menus often seem like a hodgepodge the eatery puts together in order to try to keep the diner happy while also trying not to lose their ass while having a “special.” Often a three-course meal will have a weird, tiny app, a decent entree, and something like a cookie or scoop of ice cream to act as a third course.
This is usually fine for the Water with Lemon crowd who just loves a deal and probably will tip 5-10% of their check, but why is an entire week setup to cater to these people?
It’s hard to understand who, exactly, Restaurant Week is for these days. While we are told it’s something to try to bring people in from out of town, is anyone booking a room for a few days during 100+ degree heat specifically to save $5 on lunch? True foodies usually prefer ordering something that’s not on a discount menu and would seek out the best restaurants in town anyway. Also, why do I, a local, keep seeing ads for this targeted at me, a person who would be dining out anyway even without the expense of our TOT tax dollars being spent by the big tourism agency on ads targeted towards me, who I will remind you: is a person who is already in town and not booking a hotel room?
Why is an event that is supposed to bring tourists to town spending money with the local paper to reach me, a local? pic.twitter.com/72w3WNdBwM
— Casey Dolan (@thecaseydolan) May 10, 2019
And speaking of the tourism agency spending loads of your tax dollars advertising this thing, what in the hell is this?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I will still head out and grab a meal or two this week to support local businesses and those who work in them. But I will definitely be ordering from the regular menu and no one needed to provide a weird, expensive roller skating video to motivate me to do it.