Kansas City Restaurant Week raised a record $150K for local charities

The 2013 Kansas City Restaurant Week had a record-breaking season, including raising more than $150,000 for local charities.

More than 126 restaurants also participated - the highest number in the event’s four-year history.

“We are proud just to see the tremendous growth and the participation by the community,” said Zach Doerfler, president of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association. “People get an opportunity to try new locations with pricing that accommodates most people’s budget. You can get in some of the highest priced restaurants and have a wonderful meal for $30. And then they have a charity kickback as well.”

The 10-day event ran Jan. 18 to 27. Several restaurant companies made significant donations, best previous years. Houlihan’s Restaurant Group - which operates Houlihan’s, J.Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood, and Bristol Seafood Grill - donated more than $21,000, and Darden Restaurant Group - with both The Capital Grille and Seasons 52 on the Plaza - donated nearly $15,000.

“Every night we had over a 1,000 guests and Friday and Saturday nights we had 1,200 to 1,300,” said Vanderlei Melchior, general manager of Fogo de Chao Churrascaria, also on the Plaza, which donated $20,000. “Something we are pretty big on is helping out Harvesters and the community.”

The event saw an eight percent increase in participating restaurants compared to the 2012 event, participating restaurants also saw an increase in overall revenues (a combined 67 percent increase during the 10-day event), and there were nearly 11,500 downloads of the restaurant week app, a 100 percent increase from 2012.

The proceeds benefit Harvesters - The Community Food Network, Kansas City Regional Destination Development Foundation, and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. They were officially presented Monday during hospitality day at Kauffman Stadium.

The event raised $142,000 in 2012. Next year’s restaurant week is set for Jan. 17 to 26.