Success for first ever Eat Leeds event

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Around 9,000 meals were served during a week-long campaign by Leeds restaurants to flaunt their culinary skills at a discount rate, it can now be revealed.

Eat Leeds Restaurant Week took place between August 14 to 20 as a way of celebrating the city’s food scene and getting people to try new places.

A total of 74 restaurants took part in the first ever event of its kind in the city, offering two and three course meals priced at £10 or £15.

Organisers yesterday said that 9,000 diners enjoyed a meal out and more than 70 per cent tried a restaurant that they had never visited before. The event made £196,000 in what is a traditionally quiet period for the sector.

And crucially, 70 per cent of diners enjoyed the experience so much that they are more likely to eat out in Leeds in the future as a result.

Sous-chef Sam Thomas, from vegan restaurant Cantina based at the Old Red Bus Station on Vicar Lane, said: “It’s a beautiful way for people to explore all types of food and to discover hidden gems they may not have known about otherwise.

“As a relatively new name in the city, it’s humbling to see the phenomenal response we’ve had, and we were so busy that we even had to turn people away.”

Spanish restaurant Ibérica, winner of the best conserved building at last year’s Leeds Architecture Awards, also took part in the event.

General manager Matthew Kerrywood said: “Giving the people of Leeds the chance to taste our city’s food diversity is the reason behind this first Restaurant Week’s success.”

The event went ahead in partnership with the Leeds Business Improvement District group.

Chief executive Andrew Cooper said he looked forward to building on its success.