Restaurants Count on this Week

April 25, 2013 Updated Nov 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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April 25, 2013 Updated Nov 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM EDT

It's restaurant week! That means you can enjoy dining deals at many area restaurants for $20.13.

The WNY Chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association came up with the idea to help locally owned restaurants boost business. They say the restaurant business is generally slow at this time of year and many local businesses need some help.

This week, more than 200 restaurants are taking part, including 22 new ones.

Event coordinator Christa Hobart says eateries from Lackawanna to Lockport and beyond are ready to pamper customers. "It's a celebration of local, independent restaurants in WNY so we have no chains, no national franchises, just local, independent restaurants," Hobart said. "A lot of them are mom and pops and generational ones that have been around for years."

Those restaurants are hoping to attract newcomers this week who will become repeat customers. "That's the goal for restaurants - to get new customers in the door and gain them as loyal followers and get them to try something new," Hobart said.

The semi-annual event has an economic impact topping $8 million annually, according to Hobart.  Along with restaurants, area workers can feel the impact. Organizers say the local food service industry is the region's second largest employer.

Restaurant Week runs through Sunday, April 28. Restaurants who missed this week, can sign up to take part in the fall.

A complete list of participating restaurants can be found at wkbw.com and at www.LocalRestaurantWeek.com.