Zagat Releases Latest Chicago Restaurants Survey

Dining Frequency Hits an All-Time Low Since '02, but Surveyors Are Finding Better Deals

Jun 23, 2010, 00:01 ET from Zagat Survey

NEW YORK, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Windy City gears up for the 2010 Taste of Chicago, Zagat Survey today released its 2010/11 Chicago Restaurants Survey, covering 1,179 eateries in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. This year, 5,701 local diners submitted their opinions on ZAGAT.com, incorporating a collective 830,000 meals worth of experience into the survey.

In addition to bookstores, the guide can be accessed on ZAGAT.com, ZAGAT TO GO for iPhone and iPad, and nru for Android. And through Zagat's partnership with Foursquare, the popular social-networking application, diners can unlock the Zagat Foodie badge by "checking-in" to Zagat-rated establishments. This means that diners now have access to Zagat ratings and reviews, restaurant information and Foursquare "check in" capability, all from the palm of their hands.

Results: Here are the statistical results of the current Chicago Restaurants Survey. The highlights relate to the impact of the slow economy and consumer attitudes towards "green" issues:

What effect, if any, has the weak economy had on your dining out habits? (Check all that apply)


I'm eating out less

41%

I'm being more attentive to prices when ordering

38%

I'm eating in less expensive places

32%

I'm skipping appetizers and/or dessert

20%

I'm cutting back on alcohol

18%

I'm less likely to try new places

8%

I'm going to more expensive places for lunch instead of dinner

7%

Other

3%

The weak economy hasn't affected my dining out habits

29%




Compared to 2 years ago, do you spend...?


More per meal

33%

Same amount

46%

Less  per meal

21%




Has the economic downturn had any positive effects on your dining habits? (Check all that apply)


Finding better deals at restaurants

57%

Cooking more and enjoying it

44%

Feel patronage is more appreciated and rewarded

43%

Able to get table at hard-to-get-in places

34%

Eating healthier (cutting back on alcohol/rich foods)

17%

Dining at better quality restaurants to ensure a good value

15%

Other

4%




Compared to 2 years ago, do you eat out...?


More

18%

Same amount

48%

Less

34%




Of 14 possible lunches & dinners in a week, how many do you:



2004/05

2006/07

2008/09

2010/11

Skip?

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.1

Cook at home?

6.2

6.4

6.6

6.8

Eat out/take out?

6.8

6.6

6.4

6.1

Total meals eaten per week:

13.0

13.0

13.0

12.9






% total meals eat out/take out:

52%

51%

49%

47%




Should trans fats be banned from food preparation in restaurants?


Yes

53%

No

47%




How important to you is having low-carb, low-fat, or heart-healthy menu items available when dining out?


Extremely important

10%

Very important

21%

Somewhat important

37%

Not very important

22%

Not at all important

10%




How important is it to you that the food you eat is "green" (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised)?


Extremely important

6%

Very important

15%

Somewhat important

44%

Not very important

24%

Not at all important

11%




Are you willing to pay more for food that is "green" (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised)?


Yes

60%

No

40%




Do you typically seek out restaurants with menus that focus on "green" (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised foods) ingredients?


Yes

30%

No

70%




Since the economic downturn, is eating "green" (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised foods) as important to you as before?


It's even more important to me now

12%

It's just as important to me now

45%

It's less important to me now

4%

It's never been important to me

39%




Should restaurants be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health dept. inspection?


Yes

81%

No

19%




Has the environmental impact of bottled water affected the kind of water you drink at restaurants?


Yes, I've changed to tap/filtered water

8%

No, I always drink tap/filtered water

79%

No, I still order bottled water if available

6%

I've changed to tap/filtered water to cut back on my spending

5%

I do not drink water in restaurants

2%




Have the recent reports regarding the mercury levels in fish affected how you order when dining out?


Yes, I'm avoiding certain fish now


19%

Yes, I'm cutting down on all types of fish

4%

No, it hasn't affected how much fish I eat

77%




There are a variety of other stats relating to the cost of a meal, inflation, and tipping comparisons to other cities.

Taste of Chicago: Zagat will again be supporting the 30th annual Taste of Chicago. Festival attendees can dine and relax in the Zagat Dining Pavilion presented by Chase Sapphire and peruse a special edition mini-guide of Taste of Chicago participating restaurants. On Friday, June 25, four students from the Washburne Culinary Institute will compete in Zagat's Sweet Treat Challenge to create the best Chicago-inspired dessert. The winning student receives a $1,000 scholarship to Washburne Culinary Institute. Finally, through the "Wine and Dine on Zagat's Dime" sweepstakes, dinner for two at a Zagat-rated restaurant will be given to a lucky winner.

Details: The 2010/11 Chicago Restaurants guide ($14.95) was edited by Cynthia Kilian with local editors Alice Van Housen and Ann Christenson. For information on Zagat's mobile products, please visit http://www.zagat.com/mobile. And be sure to follow Zagat on Facebook and Twitter @ZagatBuzz for daily news and updates!

About Zagat Survey, LLC

Zagat Survey is the world's most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play around the globe, and such has become a symbol of quality. Zagat Survey rates and reviews airlines, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, resorts, shopping, spas and a range of other entertainment categories in more than 100 countries. It has been lauded as the "most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable guides ever published" and as "a necessity second only to a valid credit card." Zagat content is available in print, on the web, on the mobile web, iPhone, BlackBerry and on TV. For more information, visit ZAGAT.com.

SOURCE Zagat Survey



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