Orlando Burger Week / Instagram
Orlando Burger Week has been given new life this year by the unprecedented support of generous sponsors. The promotion, which drives traffic and sales into restaurants, was originally scheduled for April of this year, but had been canceled due to the pandemic. It now runs Nov. 4-18, 2020.
Similar to Bite30 and Orlando Taco Week, two other in-restaurant food promotions produced by Orlando Weekly, Burger Week features a promotional menu at a discounted price, giving diners incentive to check out the culinary creativity in local eateries. Though restaurants are offering cuisine at a discount, most understand that this is no time to skimp. Quite the opposite, savvy restaurateurs offer their best, most delicious burgers to lure in new customers and impress them so they will return.
“Our restaurant is more of an intimate gourmet experience, not the typical place you go for burgers,” said Eddie Nickell, who owns Bites and Bubbles in Mills 50 with his partner Nick Olivieri. “We weren’t sure how this was going to work for us last year, but it ended up being a fantastic promotion. The diners were great. One ordered a $100 bottle of wine to go with their $5 burgers, and several first-timers have become regular customers. So it was definitely worthwhile.” Nickell, who founded the Restaurant and Allied Partnership with Olivieri at the height of the pandemic to educate, support and promote local restaurants, added, “It’s driving customers into restaurants to spend money, while giving customers delicious food at a great value. And that is needed now, more than it has been in a very long time.”
Burger Week was originally canceled due to the pandemic, and its fate was uncertain. But thanks to generous support from sponsors, the promotion is happening with Hard Rock Cafe, a Florida-based company and one of the world’s most iconic restaurants known for outstanding burgers, as presenting sponsor. Hard Rock Cafe at Universal City Walk will be one of the more than thirty (30) locations preparing for the all-beef frenzy created by the $5 specialty burgers featured during the promotion.
“Last year, we participated in Burger Week and had a great turnout and response from guests. This year, with everything that has happened to our industry, we just felt it was the right thing to do to pivot our sponsorship dollars earmarked for events into resources to help drive business into local restaurants with Burger Week,” said Lea Reynolds, marketing and promotions manager at Hard Rock Orlando. “After all, here at the Hard Rock one of our core mottos is ‘All Is One’ and that couldn’t be more important in these difficult times.”
Joining Hard Rock Cafe this year are fellow first-time Burger Week sponsors Publix, another Florida-based company, and the Florida Beef Council, which supports the state’s cattlemen.
“The economic hardships of the pandemic extend well beyond the frontlines we see at restaurants,” said Graham Jarrett, Orlando Weekly
publisher and founder of Orlando Burger Week. “Farmers, cattle ranchers, suppliers — even marketing firms and media like Orlando Weekly
— such a large web of interconnected businesses are suffering. To have these three Florida entities — Publix, The Florida Beef Council and Hard Rock Cafe — all come on board to make this effort happen this year is amazing.” Joining the main sponsors are the beverage sponsors, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Corona Extra and Corona Hard Seltzer, which many restaurants will also be featuring.
This year, Orlando Burger Week has been extended from ten (10) to fifteen (15) days, and in addition to the $5 specials, restaurants are being encouraged to add more burgers, sides and other options to the special menus at whatever price point they choose, giving diners additional options to sample their flavors while participating and encouraging higher spends, which the restaurants need to make the promotion economically feasible for them.
“When dining with a party of six, I realized in order to participate in the promotion, every person at the table had to order the same meal. The appeal of Bite30 is experiencing so much variety and comparing all the food with the people at your table,” said Jarrett. He further explained he wanted to bring that to Burger Week and Taco Week. “The $5 deal has to be a great value and truly delicious to attract customers to the restaurant, but more over-the-top choices could make for a much more interesting Burger Week, and I, for one, am willing to pay more for that!”
Like Bite30 and Taco Week, Burger Week will have takeout options this year in response to COVID for a $5 surcharge per order, which helps cover costs associated with takeout supplies and compensates for less spontaneous upsells that happen in restaurants. All revenues, whether dine-in or takeout, go exclusively and directly to the restaurants.
Diners may obtain a “passport” from a print issue of Orlando Weekly
or download it from the Burger Week website starting on Nov. 4, and get it stamped at different restaurants. With four stamps, passports may be submitted for a chance to win private burger parties at Publix Aprons Cooking Schools. Diners may also win by documenting their Burger Week on Instagram, using hashtags #orlandoburgerweek and #publixaprons. In total six (6) private parties and over 150 gift cards to Burger Week restaurants will be given away.
“At Orlando Weekly, we are committed to showcasing local restaurants. Whether through dining reviews, local restaurant news, Bite Magazine, events like Bite Night and United We Brunch, and promotions like Orlando Burger Week and Bite30, we strive to be the outlet that promotes and fosters a strong, healthy local dining scene. We work hard at it, and are confident we do it better than anyone else in Central Florida,” says Jessica Bryce Young, Orlando Weekly
Restaurants interested in participating in Orlando Burger Week should go here
For more information on Orlando Burger Week, go to orlandoburgerweek.com
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