Whether you are a veteran or a brand new Chicago Restaurant Week (CRW) participant, we’ve outlined some tips, reminders and FAQs to help you navigate the registration process and make the most of your CRW participation.
- Menu Development
- Dining Certificate/Gift Card
- Promoting Chicago Restaurant Week
- Helpful Tips
What is the deadline to register?
Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Click here to register. PLEASE NOTE: Restaurants will not be able to participate unless registered by October 31, 2017. No exceptions.
Other deadlines: Your CRW Menu(s) and $100 dining certificate/gift card must be submitted by Friday, December 1, 2017 for your restaurant to be listed on the official CRW website, eatitupchicago.com.
What are the CRW participation requirements?
- Purchase participation in CRW: Click here.
- Participate in the American Express Consumer “Offer”
- Complete registration by October 31, 2017
- Submit (1) $100 dining certificate/gift card per restaurant by December 1, 2017
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
How will I know when I’ve met all requirements for my CRW participation?
You will receive a confirmation email once your registration has been completed and all requirements have been met.
Do I have to participate in the American Express Consumer “Offer” in order to be part of Chicago Restaurant Week 2018?
Yes, participation in this consumer “Offer” is mandatory in order for your restaurant to take part in Chicago Restaurant Week 2018.
American Express Card Members who enroll their eligible American Express Card can qualify to get $5 back on their statement as a credit every time they spend $25 or more in a single transaction on their enrolled American Express Card at a participating restaurant during Chicago Restaurant Week 2018 held January 26, 2018 – February 8, 2018 (the “Offer”).
There is NO COST to you to participate in the offer ($5 statement credit will be funded by Choose Chicago and American Express).
Do I have to participate in CRW for the full length of the program?
Yes, your participation in CRW is required during the full length of the program, all 14 days.
Do I have to participate in the Greater Chicago Food Depository Campaign?
The program is not mandatory in order to participate in CRW. However, it is strongly recommended that you help support this campaign in order to help increase awareness and raise critical funds for the incredible work that the GCFD does throughout the Chicago area. Click here for additional information.
If my restaurant is normally closed for service on one of the CRW program days, must I open in order to participate?
No, you can keep your normal business hours. However, please clearly note the day(s) that you’re closed for service in your online partner listing as well as on your CRW menu(s).
Do I have to participate in lunch and/or dinner to offer brunch?
Yes, you must offer a lunch and/or dinner menu throughout the full length of the program in order to participate in brunch.
When will diners begin to make reservations?
The CRW website, eatitupchicago.com, goes live and reservations will begin in mid-December 2017 (date subject to change).
Why can’t I upload my CRW menu?
Click here for details on how to upload your CRW menu and ensure all menu(s) requirements are met.
When is the last day to register?
PLEASE NOTE: Restaurants will not be able to participate unless registered by October 31, 2017. No exceptions. We encourage you to register early!
How many courses should I offer on my menu(s)?
It is up to you, however, historically restaurants have offered a minimum of three courses. It is best to offer a few options for each course as well as include upsell items such as wine, beer or cocktail pairings. Please review the best practices.
Your restaurant will not be listed on the official CRW website, eatitupchicago.com unless your CRW prix fixe menu is uploaded by December 1, 2017.
Be creative and descriptive with your menu items. This might be a diner’s first experience with your restaurant.
Restaurant Week menu(s) must:
- Include name of your restaurant and or logo
- Indicate clearly whether your menu is for lunch, dinner and/or brunch
- Include menu pricing – lunch and brunch - $22, dinner - $33 and/or $44 (excludes beverage, tax & gratuity)
- Indicate gluten free, vegan and/or vegetarian options, if selected in registration
- Indicate day and times the brunch menu is available (i.e. available on Sunday between 11am-2pm)
Restaurant Week menu(s) considerations:
- Consider adding value options (wine pairings, specialty cocktails, etc.)
- Prix fixe menu offering must be of good value
- If you have had issues with diners asking for substitutions, note: substitutions to this menu are politely declined
Click here for a sample template(s) to help you begin building your menu
Click here for the Chicago Restaurant Week logo
Saving your menu: Do not include special characters in the file name – apostrophes, ampersands and hashtags. The system will reject your menu, and it will not appear on the website.
File & format: All menu(s) lunch, brunch and/or dinner must be saved under one PDF file.
Uploading your menu(s):
- Login to the Partner Extranet
- Go to Partner Record Tab
- Scroll down to the Amenities Tab
- Click on Restaurant Week highlighted in blue
- Click Edit Amenities
- Upload menu file
- Click Save
Make sure to present all diners with the Restaurant Week prix fixe menu(s) along with the regular menu.
Email us at email@example.com if you have questions or need assistance.
Why do we have to submit a dining certificate/gift card?
Every restaurant must submit one $100 dining certificate/gift card in order to participate in the program. Deadline to submit is December 1, 2017. It will be used for promotional purposes and giveaways throughout the year.
Dining Certificate/Gift Card Requirements and Information:
- Submit one $100 dining certificate/gift card per restaurant
- Must be valid through December 30, 2018
- Must have a certificate number and signature
- Certificate must be made out to "Bearer of Certificate" or left blank. Do not make it out to Chicago Restaurant Week or it will be returned
- We will not accept scanned, emailed or handwritten certificates
- All certificates must be mailed or hand delivered to:
Attn: Mayela Hobbs
72 E. Randolph St., 3rd Fl.
Chicago, IL 60601
*We strongly recommend use of certified mail or FedEx to ensure safe shipment and timely arrival. Contact Mayela Hobbs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-567-8462 to arrange for hand delivery to our office. Choose Chicago is not responsible for the dining certificate/gift card until receipt.
Use social media to spread the word!
Keep the conversation going on social media by sharing and/or retweeting Choose Chicago’s CRW posts and positive customer feedback.
CRW Hashtag: #CRW18
Choose Chicago: @ChooseChicago
Educate your restaurant team (including marketing/PR, servers, staff, hosts, etc.) on the CRW program details so they’re prepared to answer any questions diners may have.
To create a more inclusive dining experience for CRW diners, make sure to present all diners with the Restaurant Week prix fixe menu(s) along with the regular menu.
Add upsell items such as wine and cocktail pairings or offer supplemental dishes at an additional price to increase the total check.
Eliminate daily specials during the promotional period (January 26 – February 8, 2018) so customers gravitate toward the CRW menu.
Reward staff for excellent service through incentives to keep them inspired and motivated during the CRW promotion.
Promote and post your CRW menu on your website.