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Winterlicious prices

Can anyone confirm if prices will be going up for Winterlicious in a couple of weeks? Why would the city do that in the middle of a recession? Does anyone work at a Winterlicious restaurant and know how they feel?

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  1. Yes they have...I believe it is now $25 ,$35 nd $45 categories for dinner. The restaurants are able to choose which catergory they are going to be in. I assume places like Canoe will be in the $45 category. Food cost and labour costs have risen even though we are in a recession and I assume these restaurants need to cover their costs

    1. Indeed there are some $45 options now. I was surprised at the increase too; kind of defeats the whole purpose. I usually only order a starter and entree when I go out to dinner, which at some of these places charging the higher price wouldn't hit that mark. Mehh!

      1. but the costs of the products and service hasn't gone down, in most cases have actually increased. 3 courses for $45 is still (in most cases) a pretty good deal imho. the process the city goes through is basically to take your regular menu prices for the 3 options and then deduct $10, so that really is the savings that you get-just so you get an idea of the inside workings of the program

        3 Replies
        1. re: robgm

          The problem with Winterlicious is the same as with any 'prix fixe' menu. You compromise on the apps and/or dessert, ordering things you might not otherwise want, just for the deal. Unless all three courses are items you would order on their own, don't bother. You won't pay much more to have the food you really want, from the regular menu.

          If you want a single item from the prix fixe that isn't on the regular menu, most good restauranteurs will oblige. Yes, it drives us (the kitchen people) crazy, but you, the customers are always right.

          1. re: robgm

            Some restaurants have upped their prices to $45 as well as cut back on what they are offering compared to previous years.

          2. Yesterday on CBC Metro Morning, Mark McEwan said his staff have dubbed it "wintervicious".

            1 Reply
            1. re: JamieK

              He had also said that YEARS ago on The Heat (Food Network)..

              I cannot understand why McEwan and Canoe continue to offer menus in the Summer and Winter programs...They don't need the business -- unless they are all laughing at us. As far as Canoe goes, for a few bucks more you can go and have their regular lunch any time of the year. And the other Oliver-Bonacini places are just as good, but easier to obtain a reservation (Biffs, Jump, Auberge)

            2. There's definitely some restaurants in the higher price category that have gotten more creative with their menus... offering an artisanal cheese plate for dessert, or including fois gras or organic meats. Apparently the restauranteurs requested the higher price point so they could flex their creative muscle a bit without taking the hit financially. I think if it translates, it could be very good for the program. And there's 20 more restaurants in the program over last year, and many still in the 25/35 category, so there's still lots to choose from.

              1. I think Winterlicious is officially dead, and this was the nail in the coffin.

                After speaking to several groups of friends and colleagues they have all banned anything 'licious'.

                Poor, cheap menus and rising prices...

                1. I heard one of the organizers on the news saying that the pricing is determined by what the restaurants charge on average for a main- so a restaurant where mains are around 45 dollars can charge 45 dollars for app. + main + dessert .
                  So, it's like buying a main and then getting the other two courses for free.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: meld_la

                    Well when I was at Bite Me (which was shockingly bad) their mains were $27-$35 and were using much nicer ingredients than the stewing beef I was served.

                    The restaurants are taking advantage and the punters are not going to buy into the bait and swtich anymore.

                    Winterlicious (or any 'licious') will not be able continue like this...

                    1. re: DWizzo

                      I've heard terrible things about Bite Me (and the name, to be honest, is a complete turn off in the first place- maybe for a diner targeting teenagers it's okay, but for a high end restaurant?).
                      Maybe Winterlicious is a good measuring for stick for genuine quality- the restaurants that put on a great winterlicious menu with good value for money are the ones that we should visit year 'round.