Restaurant Week GR kicks off Wednesday

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Experience GR announced the 11th annual Restaurant Week Grand Rapids will take place Aug. 5-16 and will feature a digital pass program to drive return visits to struggling local eateries. Courtesy Experience GR

People can celebrate and support local dining beginning this week with Restaurant Week GR 2020.

The 11th annual event hosted by Experience Grand Rapids, the city’s destination marketing organization, runs Aug. 5-16 and features over 50 participating restaurants, plus the new digital passport program Grand Rapids Magazine previously reported on.

The passport program offers dining incentives to encourage support of local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year’s changes are meant to encourage diners to enjoy even more restaurants during the week,” said Kate Lieto, director of marketing for Experience Grand Rapids. “We hope Restaurant Week will offer much-needed support to local eateries that are still struggling with the impacts of COVID-19.”

Through the passport program, guests will be able to check in at participating restaurants using a digital pass on their smartphones for a one-time-use return visit coupon redeemable within 60 days of Restaurant Week. Diners who check in to four or more participating restaurants will receive a food-themed prize from Experience Grand Rapids, which will be mailed after the event ends.

Most restaurants are participating with both takeout and dine-in options, and many have outdoor dining spaces.

Some restaurants still are offering special, pre-fixed Restaurant Week GR dishes. Many will incorporate locally sourced fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products and also offer special menus for those with dietary restrictions.

For every Restaurant Week GR check-in through the digital pass, Experience GR will donate $1 to an endowed scholarship fund through the Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, up to $5,000. Since its inception, Restaurant Week GR has donated more than $150,000 to further the education of local culinary students.

More information on Restaurant Week GR, a list of participating restaurants and access to the digital pass are available at restaurantweekgr.com.

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