RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Triangle Restaurant Week kicks offs on Monday. It won’t just be an opportunity for foodies to try new places. It will also be a big opportunity for business owners who are still making a come back from a challenging last two years.

While existing restaurants were navigating the new norms of the pandemic, Chris Powers and his team took a risk and opened a new business.

“It’s a challenge for sure because we always want to make sure our staff is safe and we’re taking care of people,” said Powers.

Young Hearts distillery in downtown Raleigh is still is in its first year of operation. Powers and his partner also own Trophy Brewing and State of Beer in Raleigh. They’re participating in their first Triangle Restaurant Week this year.

“It’s an opportunity for us to kind of celebrate being open, bringing people downtown and celebrating the food that we’re making,” said Powers.

Participating locations across the Triangle will offer a prixe fixe multi-course menu ranging from $20 to $50.

Click here to find participating restaurants around the Triangle. The site allows you to sort by city, price point and food type.

Fifty-six restaurants are participating. It’s drop from past years where more than 100 have joined in. Organizers cite recent business challenges.

“Inflation, the prices of food going up, finding staff that are excited and motivated to be part of a team- all those things that go along with a pandemic,” said Powers.

He’s not alone. The National Restaurant Association says in the last year, wholesale food prices went up 18 percent. On average, they said menu prices went up seven percent.

Still, Powers remains optimistic.

“People are starting to return to work downtown. We’re seeing an increase in business- especially here at Young Hearts. At our location Trophy Brewing, on Morgan Street, we’ve done a ton of to-go business and now we’re seeing people coming in those doors,” he said.

He’s hoping restaurant week provides an extra boost too.

“We’re firing on all cylinders here and we’re ready to have new people come through your doors and teach them about Young Hearts and what we do here,” Powers said.