Dine Out Wichita

I had an entire blog written about all my experiences with Dine Out Wichita but decided to delete every single word and start over.

Ultimately I want to say thank you to every single diner who stopped by one of the 40+ restaurants who helped make Dine Out Wichita a reality.

Big thanks also to the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association for helping recruit restaurants. And another big shout out to Kansas Gas Service for sponsoring the event which was an additional donation to increase our total amount to United Way of the Plains. Kristin Bogner at United Way was a pleasure to work with in this event.

Of course the restaurants were the main attraction. Dine Out Wichita wouldn’t even be possible without these players who bought into an idea and also donated directly to the United Way:
6S Steakhouse
Bob & Luigi’s Andover
Bocco Deli
Buffalo Wings & Rings
Chicken N Pickle
Crafted
Da Chicken Shak & More
Deano’s Grill & Tapworks
District Taqueria
Doc Green’s 
Doo-Dah Diner
Downtown Nutrition
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Gaga’s Grub
Greystone Restaurant & Bar
Headshots Bar & Grill
Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
Kelly’s Family Diner
Leslie Coffee Co.
Lola’s Bistro
Louis Rose Hill Cafe
Mo’s Hut Wichita
Nortons Brewing Company
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Oak & Pie
Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria
Pig In Pig Out BBQ & Catering
Pita Pit
Poke Mix
Prost
River City Sweet Shop
Rubens Mexican Grill
The Rusted Rooster
San Salvador Café
Sorrel’s Jamaican Food LLC
Stearman Field Bar & Grill
Sweetz N Treatz Bakery
Taco Locale
The Foxhole Lounge
The Popcorner
Vietnom Nom
Vora Restaurant European
Whiskey Dicks
Wine Dive
YaYa’s Eurobistro
Ziggy’s Pizza

With the donations, we are probably somewhere in the area of $4,500-5,000 if not more. I’m still awaiting final count from the United Way.

I want to say thanks to foodies, bloggers, Instagrammers like Fert the Foodie, The Hangry Lady, wichitasty, Bottomlesspit_ICT, Lisa at Telehue Food, Kyle Offutt, jacko_williamson, authenticabundantlife, Bubblepins Foodie, onedelightfullife, pamlivesandloveswichita, and others I’m probably forgetting for help spreading the word, sharing their dining pictures and engaging others to the event. Most media outlets didn’t want to share the event and city organizations aimed at promoting Wichita weren’t too keen on sharing an event that wasn’t their own with no financial incentive. Keeping in mind 100% of it all went to United Way. So I relied on fellow food lovers to help spread the word. Thank you guys.

Another thank you to my family. There were many evenings, I’d be on my laptop trying to get things situated, create content, whatever while they would just look at me like “is this ever going to end?”. I definitely owe them all a very nice dinner and extra love & attention.

What’s funny is after Restaurant Week went away, I asked myself, “How hard could it be to throw my own version of it?” It wasn’t easy and way more time-consuming than I thought it’d ever be. Juggling family life, work, other organizations I volunteer with on top of responding to inquiries every day and doing anything I could to promote the event was a lot.

It wasn’t a perfect event and there are so many things I would have done differently. Why the hell did I decide on 25 days? I blame baby sleep deprivation. Also, I’m sure more restaurants were frequented more than others. I know some restaurants may not have been pleased with the uptick in business they were hoping for. Then there were some restaurants who had big booms and one even said they had their busiest day ever. There were ups and downs and the execution definitely could have been better. Giving myself more than 2-3 months to get it going would probably be smarter too but I’m not known to do things that way. If I were to grade myself on the event, I’d give it a C all things considered. The same letter grade I would get grounded for by my mother growing up.

So February marks nine years, I’ve been doing this blog. I’ve been wanting to do some sort of event for a while and it finally became a reality. At the end of the day, diners were able to try some new and old restaurants at a discounted price, restaurants received some added exposure and new customers their way, and the United Way made some money to continue their ways in the community. While I’m hard on myself for a lot of things, I’m satisfied with that result.

Will Dine Out Wichita return in 2021? I can’t give a definitive yes but I can say this in the meantime: I need a drink tonight.

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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