Explore new eateries and chow down for cheap during Restaurant Week


Calling all culinary connoisseurs! Starting Friday through May 17, Lansing 5:01 is partnering with Lansing Foodies, City Pulse and WLNS to present Restaurant Week, a self-guided dining tour of 36 restaurants. Each location will offer a special dish for $7, and participants can visit as many or few as they’d like. City Pulse chatted with Josh Holliday, director of communications and events at Lansing 5:01, to provide a more in-depth look at this new foodie festival. 

Where did the idea for Restaurant Week come from? 

Restaurant Week started as a way to give back to the community and shed light on the food culture in Lansing. A lot of other communities have events where they celebrate either a dish that's popular in their community or their restaurants. To be a great city that attracts other people, we want to make sure we have those things that people love in other cities that make them choose that place as their home. We wanted to remove all the barriers and make it as easy as possible. Restaurants don't have to pay to participate, and people in the community don’t need a coupon, they don’t need a book with information, they can just walk into the restaurant and try something.  

How did you find restaurants to participate? 

Between the list of restaurant partners with City Pulse’s Top of the Town awards and the vendors that Lansing 5:01 works with, we were able to put out calls to restaurants. We also broadcast in the Lansing Foodies group, where a lot of restaurants were able to learn about it and sign up. We broadcast widely to get as many participants as possible. 

How do people order the dishes at the restaurants?  

The restaurants should be promoting their specials. You should be able to just go to the restaurant and say, “I'd like the Restaurant Week special.” Or, if you look at, it says what each item is, so you can always ask for the item and say, “I'm ordering this for Restaurant Week,” and they should be able to have that ready for $7.  

Why make the event self-guided? 

The self-guided aspect was our idea to get people into restaurants while making it as accessible and easy as possible. You can participate by going to one restaurant all week, or you can do three restaurants a day for seven days, and I think you still wouldn't see all the restaurants that are participating. We wanted to make sure there were a bunch of options to explore. And it’s easy on the restaurants. It's hard to run a restaurant, and the last thing they need is one additional complicated thing to make it all work. The self-guided aspect makes it as easy as possible on the restaurants and the customers. 

What do you hope participants take away from Restaurant Week? 

In other communities where I've participated in restaurant weeks, it’s the week I look forward to most. As I was putting together the website with all the listings, I was drooling over all these delicious entrees that the restaurants are going to offer. I hope it brings excitement around the food culture in Lansing and showcases that we have some great restaurants. And that it allows people to shift their perspectives to be positive champions for what Lansing has to offer and be proud of their home.  


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