Explore Elk Grove's Restaurant Week: Exceeding Expectations

Emilie Harris  |  April 17th, 2024

When the team at Explore Elk Grove set out to plan their annual Restaurant Week event, they had one goal in mind: to encourage visitors and locals to support the diverse culinary scene of their northern California community. Little did they know their innovative strategies and effective marketing would lead to results that exceeded expectations.

Explore Elk Grove's Restaurant Week campaign not only drove foot traffic to local restaurants but also unified the community.

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The Idea

Casey Fabbri with Explore Elk Grove explained, "Restaurant Week is an annual event in Elk Grove that highlights local restaurants in the community. During January, restaurants typically see slower traffic following the holiday season." The event aimed to encourage both visitors and locals to explore and support the diverse culinary offerings of Elk Grove.

Goals and Strategies

The campaign's primary goal was to drive foot traffic to local restaurants. To achieve this goal, Explore Elk Grove freshened up their restaurant campaign. "We introduced three-course meal offerings for participating restaurants. This was a prix fixe meal at a fixed price," stated Fabbri. Additionally, Restaurant Week pass holders had access to discounts and could participate in a check-in system to win prizes.

The campaign tapped into a variety of advertising and marketing strategies. Fabbri shared, "We used paid advertising on Instagram and Facebook. Our earned media consisted of 10 pieces of coverage ranging from TV features to news articles."

Event Success

The results of the Restaurant Week campaign were extraordinary. "The biggest surprise in the campaign was the increase in pass sign-ups in comparison to last year. We saw an 89.5% increase in pass holder sign-ups," says Fabbri. In 2024, the event attracted 4,451 pass holders, a major increase from the 2,349 pass holders in 2023!

The campaign's digital presence was also impressive, with their Facebook and Instagram reel ad gaining 1,468 link clicks. The media coverage generated an estimated 117,000 views, according to CoverageBook.

The Bandwango technology was crucial to the campaign's success. Casey stated “The pass provided a seamless system to host the deals, discounts, meals and check-ins.”


The feedback from merchants and pass holders was overwhelmingly positive. Many merchants reported a surge of new visitors to their restaurants. "71.4% of merchants who completed our post-event survey believe that the additional exposure received from the promotion of Restaurant Week will result in a new customer base," shared Fabbri.

Passholders also expressed their satisfaction with the event. Of the participants who completed a post-event survey, 80.6% said that the Restaurant Week Pass encouraged them to dine out.

The Future

Blown away by the success of this year's Restaurant Week, Explore Elk Grove is already planning for the next edition of the passport. "Our goal for next year is to get more restaurants to sign up and also encourage those participating to offer a deal, discount, or signature meal," shared Fabbri. The organization also aims to prioritize more video marketing leading up to the event.

As they look ahead to 2025, Explore Elk Grove is not only prepared to bring even more to the table for their next Restaurant Week but also aims to build off its momentum with the Diversity Dining Week in the fall.

Check out the Explore Elk Grove website and sign up for their newsletter to receive the latest updates on next year's Restaurant Week!

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