Newcastle's latest restaurant week has helped boost local businesses by over £1 million pounds.
The event in January, which saw restaurants offering discounted menus for £20 or less, broke all previous event records. The highest number of people in the week's 12-year history dined out, and businesses across the city gained over £1 million in takings.
Over 119 restaurants took part, and more than 58,000 people enjoyed eating out.
The scheme which also runs during the summer holidays is believed to have helped transform two of the hospitality sector's quietest years, following the pandemic, into the busiest and most profitable.
According to NE1, the city's business improvement district which runs the event, it is not just eateries which benefit from the event. Bars, taxi companies and other transport providers can also notice the knock on effect and an uplift in business.
Ben Whitfield, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said: “We are delighted that January has smashed all previous records, and that we have surpassed the £1 million mark. This is a huge milestone for the event and a reflection of its popularity across the region.
"Even when times are tight people want to enjoy experiences and Restaurant Week delivers each time. Roll on August when people will again be able to enjoy what is now a key date in Newcastle’s event calendar.”
He added: “Newcastle’s hospitality sector is one of the most vibrant in the UK, with more independent restaurants per person than any other city outside of London.
"Back in 2011, we looked internationally for inspiration on how to support the industry at traditionally quiet times of the year and Newcastle Restaurant Week was born. The event shines the spotlight on the industry and creates a real buzz in the city for two weeks of the year and there is a genuine hunger for the event as can be seen from the statistics.”
Newcastle's restaurant week was the first of its kind to be held in the UK, and originally started with just 13 venues taking part.
Andy Hook from the Hooked On Group, which owns restaurants like Blackfriars and Dobson & Parnell, said: "We joined in 2011 when the event only had 13 venues so to be part of this journey and see it generate more than £1 million in revenue for the restaurants of this great city is a testament to the stunning progress of the event.
"It’s always a great time for us to give a little back, and get bums on seats so I’m delighted it’s working so well for both restaurateurs and the dining public. We can’t wait to see how far it can go."
Still in its first year of trading, Missy Milieu, was one of the new restaurants to participate in the week.
Its Director Matthew Settle said: “We were fully booked during NE1 Restaurant Week which helped us establish ourselves quickly on the scene, during what are extremely difficult trading times."
The event has inspired other towns and cities to follow suit and hold their own restaurant weeks, including other North Eastern ones like Sunderland and Teesside.
Listen to ITV News' What you need to know podcast: