First Split the Bill-Saratoga promotion a huge success - Table Hopping

First Split the Bill-Saratoga promotion a huge success

Post on social media Thursday night described traffic in downtown Saratoga Springs as resembling Travers weekend or other busy track-season days. (File photo.)

Nearly 2,300 people spent more than $180,000 at Saratoga Springs restaurants on Thursday (2/11) as part of the first Split the Bill promotion locally.

Patrons who submitted qualifying receipts by 11:59 p.m. Thursday for meals purchased that day were reimbursed 50 percent of their restaurant tab, up to $30 per receipt, under Split the Bill. The campaign, launched last spring on Long Island by the Sidgmore Family Foundation, is intended to aid an ailing industry by spurring dine-in and takeout business to local restaurants.

Saratoga was the seventh incarnation of Split the Bill, after five on Long Island and one in Westchester County. It was brought to Saratoga by Steven Donnelly, president of the local division of the wholesale distributor Driscoll Foods and a senior vice president of the parent Driscoll company.

Driscoll and the beverage distributor Saratoga Eagle are evenly splitting the $60,400 reimbursed to participating patrons, Donnelly said. The companies worked in partnership with the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce and the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association, and Split the Bill managed operations through its website,

“It was tremendously successful, much more than we’d expected,” Donnelly said. “We couldn’t be more pleased by the outpouring of community support.” He said 2,295 qualifying receipts were submitted, reflecting total spending of $181,200 at about three dozen restaurants.

Driscoll is already in discussions to bring future Split the Bill promotions to communities in Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties and is seeking additional sponsors to help fund them, Donnelly said.

Steve Barnes