Brenda RW Sign

UW-Green Bay alumna Brenda Krainik sets the table for Restaurant Week

It’s Restaurant Week (July 11-18) in Green Bay, a signature event for UW-Green Bay alumna Brenda Krainik ’93 (Communication and the Arts), director of marketing & communications at Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau. Want to see behind the scenes? You can follow along as Krainik hosts the LifeatUWGB Instagram account. We took a few minutes to learn more about the event and what it means to the region…

Q: What is your role in Restaurant Week?
A: I am the co-creator of Green Bay Restaurant Week. I handle all the marketing and promotion for the event including television and radio appearances, paid advertising, social media promotions and public relations. Over the years I have built a huge online community of food lovers from around Wisconsin and the Chicago region. We started the event seven years ago to support all the local restaurant owners that are members of the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau. This year’s event is July 11-18. All the menus are online to help diners decide where they would like to eat out that week. This is one of the tastiest weeks of the year! www.gbrestaurantweek.com

Q: What is the economic impact to the region?
A: Our first year we had about $750,000 in economic impact. Last year we were around the $2.5 million mark. The growth of the event is amazing!

Q: As the busiest dining week all year (even more than Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s) A: Green Bay Restaurant Week is eight days long and encourages people to get out and try something new. Meal price points are $11, $22 and $33 for three course meals.

Q: Is this about consumers (diners) or about the restaurants?
A: We did quite a bit of research on running a restaurant week before taking on such a big event. A convention and visitors bureau’s main purpose is to bring travelers to the area to enjoy our community. Food is an excellent draw for travelers. Our region’s cuisine is often defined by brats and cheese and beer. We love the craft beer products that are made here, but we wanted to show off the amazing chefs that are working in the Green Bay area. We have 59 restaurants participating this year, offering a wide range of cuisine. It’s exciting to us to showcase the awesome local restaurants that we have.

Q: Any personal favorites?
A: Of course I have a few favorites….but because knowing all about our area restaurants is a necessary part of my job, I have a different perspective on Green Bay Restaurant Week. I take the opportunity to try a restaurant or two that I haven’t been to before. That’s the best part about the event. If you’re a foodie, which I am, I get excited to try new items on the menu and experience the ambiance of dining out.

Q: What kind of feedback about the event do you receive?
A: While this event was always meant to lure travelers to Green Bay, the #GBEatWeek food tribe in the greater Green Bay area is strong. Locals come out in a serious way. Social groups, young professionals, families, co-workers, retired teacher groups and so many more book large tables during the week. This strong local support is a big reason for the event’s success.

Q: In the planning and organization, what do you have to be most mindful of?
A: From the very beginning, we have involved our local restaurant owners and chefs to guide us and keep the growing event on track. We’ve also kept track of the demographics of the people dining out for the event. That’s helped us market the event successfully.

Q: What do you want to tell those friends of your alma mater about this event?
A: I am extremely proud of the event. I think my favorite part is dispelling the notion that Green Bay doesn’t eat all their food inside a bun. From fresh-made pasta to locally-sourced products, our restaurants are doing awesome work. It’s a joy to be part of introducing food to visitors and residents alike.