YORK Restaurant Week is set to return next year after the inaugural event received a five star review from participating businesses.

The event, which was held from April 1 to 7, has been proclaimed a huge success with diners and restaurants alike, according to the team from York Business Improvement District (BID), which organised the initiative.

It was designed to boost business for restaurants in the city centre during a quieter time of the year, particularly targeting local residents to encourage them to try something new.

Plans are already afoot for 2020, with a slightly earlier date in March planned.

Event co-ordinator Chris Bush said: “As we head into the summer months, we know that visitors and tourists will populate the many restaurants and cafés around the city, but our aim with York Restaurant Week was to bring local people into the city centre, so we focused all the week’s promotion on those living in and around York – and it worked phenomenally well.

“We had over 200,000 unique visitors to the dedicated website, our content on social media reached a potential audience of well over one million people, and nearly 5,750 vouchers were downloaded from the website – that equates to over £77,000 worth of business for York restaurateurs.”

The impact was seen across the 41 businesses that took part in the week, with 88 per cent saying that the event brought in first time customers and noticeably boosted their trade, attracting both daytime and evening diners.

One restauranteur commented: “It was a positive, non-alcohol based driver of publicity and positive marketing for the city.”

Kendall Craven-Evans, the general manager at Los Moros, in Grape Lane, said: “Overall, we enjoyed the event and appreciate the effort which went into it.

“We even gained new customers who have returned since the event already!”

Neringa Didzgalvyte, restaurant manager at Mr P’s Curious Tavern, in Low Petergate, echoed this view: “The event was absolutely fantastic!

“So many people were interested and most of them were based in York and surrounding areas.

“There are not enough events in York oriented towards locals and local businesses.”

It is hoped that many more businesses within the city centre will join the initiative next year following the inaugural week’s success.

For more details of next year's event, phone Chris Bush on 01904 809970 or email chris.bush@yorkrestaurantweek.co.uk