Hospitality sector hoping for boost as Restaurant Week gets underway

Video report by Julia Barthram

Newcastle's Restaurant Week has kicked off, with restaurant owners hoping for a much-needed boost after two years of restrictions and uncertainty.

Until January 23, more than 80 city centre restaurants will be offering a variety of menus at three price points: £10, £15, and £20 per head.

Restaurant Week started 10 years ago to boost business in the quiet month of January, but couldn't run at all last year because of lockdown.

Robby Scott, from Babucho said: "Our diary looks really busy. We're expecting a really busy week. So I think the public have already made their mind up that they want to be out and enjoying themselves - and we hope they do enjoy themselves in Babucho. We're ready."

It's hoped the event, and the similar Teesside Restaurant Week in February, will give not just the hospitality sector an uplift, but the wider economy too.

Babucho is one of 80 city centre restaurants taking part in Newcastle Restaurant Week Credit: ITV News

Chadwick's Inn in Maltby, Middlesbrough, will be taking part on Teesside.

The pub was awarded a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand for a sixth consecutive year in 2021, in recognition of its value-for-money good food. It was the only restaurant in the Tees region to be given the honour.

Co-owner Lee Tolley told ITV News Tyne Tees, "It carries down to the economy as well, so it's not only us. It's the butchers, the greengrocers, the fishmongers and staff hours as well.

"It gives us a real boost in those quiet couple of months."

Ben Whitfield from NE1 Ltd said: “As a city, we are rightly proudly of our restaurant community.  We have more independents per capita than any other city outside London and a wealth of major brands too.

“NE1’s Newcastle Restaurant Week is a celebration across the city, with a palpable sense of excitement in the streets during the week it takes place, we can’t wait."

Newcastle Restaurant Week runs from January 17 to January 23 and Teesside Restaurant Week will run from February 7 to February 11.