Zagat’s 2012 Restaurant Survey Reveals Americans’ Dining Habits
How long are you willing to wait for a table? Fifteen minutes? Thirty? An hour? Well, according to this year’s Zagat survey, you’re in the majority if you said 30 minutes. What about your favorite kind of food? Apparently, most of us prefer Italian. You can find more answers to diners’ habits in Zagat’s 2012 America’s Top Restaurants, which was released this week. The guide includes votes from over 150,000 avid diners who ate out an estimated 25 million times in the past year.
Despite the economy, the average number of meals eaten in restaurants did not differ from last year’s survey. But who eats out the most? Texans. Houston residents came in number one at 4 times per week. Seems if you’re thinking of opening a restaurant, you might want to consider the Longhorn State.
If you want to break the bank, the most expensive dining options are, of course, found in Vegas. According to the survey, an average meal in the city of bling costs $47.53. While the least expensive dining can be found in New Orleans, with an average meal costing $28.36.
It also seems from the survey that cheaper meals mean better tips: New Orleans, home of the cheapest average meal, is also home of the best tippers. The average gratuity per check is 19.7% — that’s just slightly above the national average. West coasters take the prize, once again, for being the least generous.
A new poll question to the food lovers this year: Are you in favor of restaurant’s requirement to post their health department grade? A whopping 81% were in favor, with the majority of respondents saying that they would only eat in restaurants with a letter grade of B or higher. “Our surveyors’ support for the display of health department letter grades has grown as fast as support for the smoking bans a few years ago,” said Tim Zagat, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Zagat. “By requiring restaurants to maintain sanitary environments, these laws are benefiting the overall safety of the consumer.”
What about you? How much do you tip? What’s your favorite restaurant in your city? And how many times a week do you dine out? We want to know!
Posted: November 7th, 2011 under Observations.