Ogden Restaurant Week rebranded as Ogden Eats, expanded to full month
Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner
OGDEN — An annual celebration of Ogden’s eateries is expanding for 2023 and giving those establishments a chance to tell their stories in the process.
This year, Visit Ogden’s annual Ogden Restaurant Week — which has been held since 2013 — becomes Ogden Eats and will encompass the entire month of October.
Taylor Hartman, director of marketing and communications for Visit Ogden, told the Standard-Examiner that the COVID-19 pandemic helped lead to a new era for the event.
“During the pandemic, we had some different looking Restaurant Week options,” he said. “One year we tried to support our local restaurants as much as possible by buying gift cards and stuff. This year is the first fully back year, and we’ve taken the pandemic reset and done a reset, so we’ve rebranded Ogden Restaurant Week into Ogden Eats.”
He said this will expand the event from a single week into the entire month of October, but it also comes with some other format changes.
“(Before), they had a set menu at each restaurant and you could go in and order from the set Restaurant Week dining options,” he said. “Now the restaurants have a little bit more flexibility. We want to bring in as many local partners as we can and it was limiting to get them to offer a special menu. A lot of restaurants are offering specials and others are offering discounts, free desserts, free entrees and stuff like that.”
As for the expansion of the event itself, Hartman said it was about allowing more people to take part.
“It doesn’t make sense if someone’s in Utah County to have a week and to advertise to them in a quality way for them to make it up in time,” he said. “Making it a month means people get to enjoy it more and we get some people who can actually make some plans, bring the family up and make a day out of it.”
He added that it also helps restaurants at a traditionally slow time of year.
“October is typically a little bit of a slow time for our key partner restaurants, especially downtown near where tourists stay,” he said. “As the visitor’s bureau, we recognized the summer is over, the snow hasn’t fallen and we can kind of tune our focus into, ‘Let’s support these local restaurant partners who do so much for us and the visitors for the rest of the year.'”
Hartman said there are more than 17 participating restaurants in the first year of the rebranded event.
However, along with giving the public the chance to take advantage of special deals and menu items during Ogden Eats, officials are also using the new Ogden Eats as a chance to help tell the stories of those participating restaurants.
“There’s a lot of stories to tell in Ogden, from Tona to Rovali’s,” Hartman said. “What’s in the basement of those places to what’re they doing on the rooftop bar? We brought a videographer out for Ogden Eats and we’re working to tell the story of Ogden through video by going in and telling the story of each restaurant. We produced 16 one- to two-minute videos telling the stories of each of these restaurants.”
Videos for each restaurant are available on Visit Ogden’s Ogden Eats page, https://www.visitogden.com/ogden-eats.
Hartman said the new Ogden Eats event will hopefully show off Ogden as a whole.
“Ogden is so unique compared to the rest of the Wasatch Front,” he said. “People are starting to realize it quicker than they have before. I’m just so excited to see what there is to come. We’re seeing these restaurants and their passion and their drive and their love of Ogden is there.