NYC Restaurant Week during a pandemic

2021 New York City Restaurant Week will go forward next week with some changes due to an indoor dining ban because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NYC & Company, which runs the program, says people will be encouraged to order takeout or delivery lunch or dinner from their favorite restaurant.

The winter promotion runs from Jan. 25–31. Participating restaurants will offer at least one lunch or dinner option for $20.21. An optional weeklong extension runs from Feb. 1–7.

NYC restaurants start selling frozen dinners

 A chef works in the kitchen at a restaurant in Chelsea. (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Restaurants traditionally pay to take part in the program but the fees were dropped to help the struggling industry.

"Even though we are still in the middle of this pandemic, it has never been more important to support the extraordinary restaurant industry that has long made New York City a dining capital and sustained the careers of countless families," NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon said in a news release.

More than 300 restaurants traditionally take part in the twice-a-year promotion. It was unclear how many are taking part in this month's program.

Sales taxes, delivery fees, and tips are not included in the fixed price.

MasterCard is sponsoring the program so diners who use a MasterCard to pay will receive a $10 rebate on their monthly statement for each order of at least $20.21.

Pandemic and now cold weather batter NYC restaurants

The National Restaurant Association estimates that one in six U.S. restaurants — more than 100,000 — have closed since the start of the pandemic. 

"Pre-pandemic, there were more than 25,000 eating and drinking establishments in the five boroughs," NYC Hospitality Alliance executive director Andrew Rigie said. "While we don't know exactly how many have permanently shuttered thus far, we estimate the number is in the thousands.

An estimated 130,000 restaurant workers are still out of work in the city.