Restaurant Association Approves Restaurant Month Promotion, Economic Recovery Plan

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At a special meeting of the Newport Beach Restaurant Association Business Improvement District Board of Directors held via conference call on Tuesday, June 30, the board reviewed a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and Budget, created by a board ad-hoc committee with help from Newport Beach and Company.

The focus of the plan is to hold a Summer Restaurant Month August 1-31 to drive incremental customers, spending and revenue to Newport Beach restaurants to assist with economic and financial COVID-19 recovery efforts. The city’s annual Restaurant Week will also return in January 2020 as part of the plan.

According to Doug McClain, senior VP & CMO for Newport Beach and Co., the Summer Restaurant Week will have zero financial impact on the restaurants for their participation.

“It is purely a promotional campaign that will help drive attendance,” said McClain. “We will create a web-based mobile app and award prizes daily and weekly to encourage visitors and residents to get out to all parts of our destination, to all restaurants in Newport Beach.”

The restaurant BID plan is part of a larger one for all of Newport Beach, said McClain.

“It’s a comprehensive recover campaign aimed at tourism and a local standpoint to drive visitation as well as to get residents to spend money locally,” explained McClain. “Our summer campaign is going to start July 1 and run through August.”

The campaign will encompass the southern California markets as well as Phoenix.

“International travel has stopped so we need to work on our drive markets,” said McClain, who noted that they will be layering in Restaurant Month into the drive market tourism promotion. After that comes a Best of Balboa campaign in September that will focus on Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Village to drive visitors and residents to spend money in those areas.

Restaurant Month sample passport

The Restaurant Month concept features a Passport promotion with multiple winners each week. There will be printed and digital versions of the passport available, and each Newport Beach restaurant will receive printed passports to give to all diners. A mobile passport application will be created for diners choosing to play virtually.

Diners need to dine in at least two of the types of restaurants featured each week (family, breakfast, Italian, etc.). Diners will receive stamps next to each type of restaurant they go to. Mobile app users will “check in” on the app and receive an emoji for each restaurant they visit.

The Economic Recover Plan includes several proposed logos to help promote Restaurant Month.

The board voted to accept the proposed Economic Recovery Plan, and to forward the proposal to the Newport Beach City Council in time for the July 14 City Council meeting.

Once the council reviews and approves the plan and budget, the campaign will start rolling out.

Visit later this month for additional details on Restaurant Month. The Newport Beach Independent’s Off the Menu dining columnist will preview Restaurant Month at the end of July.

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