Support Local Industry With a Full Stomach During Maine's ‘Split the Seafood Bill Week'

A multi-day event called "Split the Seafood Bill Week 2022" aims to support Maine’s restaurant and seafood industries

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If you’ve been craving a seafood dinner but don’t want to spend too much money on one, dozens of restaurants in Maine might be able to help you out.

They’ve joined together with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) for a multi-day event called "Split the Seafood Bill Week 2022."

Until March 27, diners who order a Maine seafood dish at a participating restaurant can submit a picture of an itemized meal receipt to a GMRI website and be entered into a drawing to win one of 300 VISA gift cards each worth $30.00.

The event began this past Monday, during a quieter week for Maine’s tourism sector, and its goal is to provide a boost to both Maine’s seafood and restaurant industries after ongoing and previous challenges related to COVID-19, staffing and more recently inflation.

"Right before Christmas 2020, we tried it out for one day," said Kyle Foley, senior program manager of the sustainable seafood program at GMRI, explaining that the test event’s success is what inspired the organization to expand it.

"We thought it was a great idea, this raises awareness for the fishermen, for the community," said Andrew Chadwick, executive chef for Inn by the Sea and its Sea Glass Restaurant in Cape Elizabeth, which is participating in the event.

Asked if GMRI and business sponsors of "Split the Seafood Bill Week 2022" might use information they gather during the event to study seafood consumption habits, Foley replied that although GMRI is asking people who submit receipts to take a short survey about seafood, response collection is generally intended to inspire future promotions.

"It is altruistic, our goal is really to drum up support," said Foley.

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