SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Two major food events are back in San Francisco starting Friday, and organizers hope they will give a much-needed economic boost to the industry that’s been hard hit by the pandemic.

Eat Drink SF and San Francisco Restaurant Week are long standing traditions in the city, but given the pandemic, this year’s kickoff felt extra special to dinners and participating chefs.

READ MORE: Top San Jose Officials Blast Bail Policies After Murder Suspects Released While Awaiting Trial

“Everyone, all of us, we need some help obviously. And during restaurant week, we bring in some new customers,” said Perbacco owner Umberto Gibin. “Hopefully we’re going to make them believers, and we’re going to make them regulars.”

Perbacco hosted the sold-out, opening night dinner, featuring an all-star collaboration for one night only. Chefs Staffan Terje of Perbacco, Suzette Gresham of Acquerello, and Chef Laurence Jossel of Nopa created a multi-course meal to kick off the 10-day event.

It features ticketed experiences, and special prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner from more than 150 restaurants, for anywhere from $10 to $65.

“It’s just like old times, we’re back it feels normal,” said diner Jeanne Brophy of San Francisco.

READ MORE: Drought Emergency: Water Districts Across Bay Area, California Warned Not To Expect Shipments From State

Brophy said this is the first such dining event she’s participated in since the pandemic.

“We were looking for something fun to do to get out and support the local restaurants, the economy, get San Francisco back on its feet. So we decided to splash out and we found this collab dinner,” she said.

For Gresham, Friday’s event was a much-needed reunion with her culinary family, and a way to say thank you to diners.

“I think all of us are so eminently grateful for our industry’s still standing, and for those who didn’t make it how hard it is for all of us to acknowledge that too, and we really want to be the spokesperson for a better future, a better industry,” said Gresham.

MORE NEWS: COVID: Omicron Variant Found In San Francisco, Are New Travel Rules Looming?

Eat Drink SF and Restaurant Week both continue through Sunday, October 24.