Baton Rouge’s Restaurant Week provides much needed boost for local eateries

Baton Rouge restaurants enjoying increased business for Restaurant Week

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you haven’t done so already, you have the rest of this week left to enjoy the bi-annual Restaurant Week.

Click here for more on Restaurant Week from The Louisiana Weekend.

At Doe’s Eat Place on Government Street, the front desk was busy Tuesday, with reservations pouring in, but it’s even busier in the kitchen, with ribeyes being served up.

“Restaurant Week comes at the end right before Lent for us, which is good, and it just gives us a big boost to help make it through the slow periods,” said Doe’s owner, Scott Overby.

Overby is referring to a slow January after the holidays, but he says this one week produces numbers that carry them through the entire month, both financially and in terms of the number of customers.

“That week, it triples compared to the rest of the month,” said Overby. “It increased my customer flow 151 percent that week.”

A prime example: on any given Monday, Overby projects serving about 53 customers, but on this Monday night, the first night of Restaurant Week, he says they had 110 come in for a sizzling steak that’s part of a three-course meal.

“Here, you’re going to get a 1.5 to 2 pound ribeye for $40, a dessert, and a soup,” said Overby.

Ribeye and mashed potatoes at Doe's Eat Place
Ribeye and mashed potatoes at Doe's Eat Place (Source: WAFB)

Meanwhile, a block away, Rocca Pizzeria, an eatery that just celebrated its one year anniversary in Baton Rouge, is using Restaurant Week to get the word out about their menu.

“We do see 35 to 50 percent increase in foot traffic alone with just customers coming in the door that week,” said Alexandra Lang, assistant general manager at Rocca.

She also says people are not looking to spend too much money in January after the Christmas holidays. So their offer is a three-course meal for $25, with a special hand-tossed pizza on the menu for the week.

“It definitely increases our sales. So far, it has increased it to 50 percent,” said Lang.

In total, 46 restaurants are taking part in Restaurant Week, which ends Saturday night. The menus range in price from $15 to $40, depending on what’s being offered.

“Some of these guys may be doing $150,000 that week or $200,000 that week. Sales tax would be a big hit for the city, so it brings them a lot for not only us, but also for the city,” said Overby.

DIG Magazine will donate $2 to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank for every picture diners take and post to Instagram with #eatbr.

Restaurant week runs through Saturday, Jan. 26.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.