Quad Cities Restaurant Week begins today, March 21, and continues through Sunday, March 27. Now in its 10th year, it’s about celebrating and showcasing our culinary community.
Restaurants are vitally important to our region’s authentic identity. I’m sure we all have a favorite place to dine. We might have a favorite memory from a restaurant, and we probably have celebrated a milestone moment at a local restaurant. There are Facebook groups dedicated to local food, QC food-related memes shared, and friendly arguments about the best place to get … (fill in the blank).
Our restaurants are important to us. We can be, and should be, very passionate and proud of the restaurants and small businesses that are the backbone of our community and represent a significant number of local jobs. As part of the research process for the regional destination’s Tourism Master Plan, Visit Quad Cities surveyed Quad Citizens and previous QC visitors.
Nearly nine in 10 Quad Citizens felt that ‘“dining/culinary/restaurants” are important to their quality of life. Three-quarters of previous visitors indicated that “restaurants”’ were high-quality experiences in the Quad Cities.
Food is part of our local history and heritage. At Visit Quad Cities, we promote our destination and tell the Quad Cities story. Our locally made foods and cuisine are part of that story, which we share with visitors, travel writers, food bloggers, journalists, event planners, and more.
When assisting visitors, they will inevitably ask, “Where should I go eat?” That question might be one of the hardest ones to answer for me because there are so many choices in the QC!
The last two years have been extremely rough on the restaurant industry. Restaurant staff has endured shutdowns, new regulations, supply chain issues, worker shortages, and more. We are grateful to them for being tough, gritty, and resilient.
Despite all the hardships, they are there on the front lines creating unforgettable moments of togetherness and joy that make memories for their customers. These reasons are why it is so important for Quad Citizens to support QC Restaurant Week. To quote the Joni Mitchell song, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” I think back to 2020 and the restaurant I went to on Sunday, March 15, before everything had to close.
Go out and support a restaurant this week. Try something new or hit up that place you haven’t experienced in awhile. More than 50 local restaurants are participating in QC Restaurant Week. For all the details, go to qcrestaurantweek.com.
Jessica Waytenick is public relations & marketing manager for Visit Quad Cities.