Restaurant Week to Return in 2022
industry challenges hold back September event
Everyone knows the pandemic has thrown a number of wrenches into the operations of our local restaurants and bars. Whole new sets of challenges have arisen for owners, managers, and workers alike as they’ve dealt with struggles around cash flow, compensation, public safety, supply lines, agitated customers, and so much more. Clearly it continues to be important to bring your support – and patience – to our community’s mom-n-pop shops and their hard-working staff whenever and wherever you can.
It was with that support in mind that Volume One began to plan the return of Chippewa Valley Restaurant Week this September, after skipping it in the fall of 2020 due to obvious COVID-19 concerns at the time. Over the last handful of years, Restaurant Week has been held over 10 days in late September, with more than 50 restaurants offering special menus, events, and deals to customers across the Chippewa Valley. It’s also when Volume One hosts our kick-off event, the First Taste Culinary Crawl, and other special experiences including farm tours, discussion panels, and more. But it wasn’t too far into this year’s planning for a reboot when it became clear that it might still be too soon to return.
Preliminary outreach told us that the challenges many restaurants were facing were still a bit steep to attempt anything extra or special right now. Just getting the basics covered – staffing, hours of operation, social distancing, etc. – was enough of a challenge as it was.
volume one editor/publisher, on restaurant week
Preliminary outreach told us that the challenges many restaurants were facing were still a bit steep to attempt anything extra or special right now. Just getting the basics covered – staffing, hours of operation, social distancing, etc. – was enough of a challenge as it was. Soon it became clear that our effort to help with a huge, community-wide promotional event like Restaurant Week, while highly successful for restaurants in the past, might actually not be all that helpful just yet as they continue to sort out some of these issues and work to keep everyone safe. So unfortunately, the event is getting shelved for a second year in a row.
While we’re excited to bring this celebration of local food back to the community as soon as possible, there are of course other things we can all do now to support these businesses, their passionate workers, and the critical role they all play in the culture of our communities. Go eat (especially at non-peak times). Order takeout. Be patient. Tip well. And spread the word. And circle September 2022 on your calendar for the return of Restaurant Week.