COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On Thursday night, 120 restaurants across the state will open their doors to the start of South Carolina Restaurant Week.
Inside the West Columbia restaurant Terra, the tables are set and the food is being prepared.
"We do three courses for $30 where a lot of our entrees are almost $30 to begin with," said chef and owner Mike Davis.
That sounds like a steal for a three-course meal with entrées like Manchester Farms Quail or Carolina Mountain Trout, but Davis says the deal is a win-win.
"There's a huge pass of savings to the customers, and there's an influx of business for the restaurants," said Davis.
It's an influx during a time Davis says can often be quieter for restaurants.
"After the new year is a time when business for restaurants is not quite as good as it is in other months with everybody on diets and spending restrictions following Christmas," said Davis.
But Bobby Williams, president of the Columbia Restaurant Association, says the goal was to change that when South Carolina Restaurant Week first started. "This is our fifth year, and it took one or two years to catch on, but it's really growing now," said Williams.
Davis says he's seen that growth each year, and while diners come out with a great deal, his favorite part is the chance to get them to come back. "It gives people who might not have tried a place like Terra before a chance to come in with a little more affordable options and see how we do things and that brings them back," added Davis.
Terra is one of 40 restaurants participating in the Columbia area. The South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association says the number of restaurants in the Columbia area has doubled from last year to this year alone.
Restaurant Week begins today, Jan. 9 and will run through Jan. 19. SCRLA officials say it's best to make a reservation.