Kansas City Restaurant Week returning amid rising COVID cases, but many taking precautions


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Restaurant Week returns this month to many diners’ delight.

But it comes as many local eateries struggle with staffing and as the omicron variant causes COVID-19 cases to surge across the Kansas City area.

Regardless, Kansas City Restaurant Week will run from Friday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, Jan. 23, just like organizers planned, said Derek Klaus, a spokesperson for Visit KC.

The 13th annual event features 10 days of specials at more than 175 Kansas City area restaurants, according to a news release. From Waldo to the Northland and more across the metro, there are plenty of options no matter what neighborhood you’re in.

“We’ve been used to this game for the last two years now,” Ken Kantner, general manager of the South Plaza Minksy’s Pizza, said when it comes to COVID-19.

Kantner says the founder, Gregg Johnson, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Synexis, a biodefense system out of Lenexa.

“It’s a technology that puts hydrogen peroxide and filters it through,” Kantner said of the system. “It kills viruses. It kills bacteria.”

Kantner thinks the system has helped keep his employees safe.

“We haven’t at Minsky’s had the amount of cases I’ve heard about at other places I’ve heard about around the city,” he said Wednesday.

Le Fou Frog and the Soiree Steak and Oyster House are just two Kansas City restaurants that had to temporarily close the week of Dec. 27 due to COVID-19 amongst workers.

Kantner is a board member of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association. They’re helping put on the week, along with Visit KC.

“We’re all just trying to stay alive after last year. I think everyone’s taking it very seriously,” Kantner said about how restaurants are handling the pandemic. “We need to be open. It’s hard enough to staff people as it is during the last year, and then you throw COVID and Omicron along with it, and it brings less people out.”

Many restaurants are offering not just dine-in, but also carryout and delivery deals as well.

A portion of this year’s proceeds go to the Guadalupe Centers, a group serving the Hispanic population in Kansas City.

You can find a list of all the participating restaurants here, along with their Restaurant Week menus, hours and more.

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