Zagat Releases Latest Chicago Restaurants Survey

June 22, 2010

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)
    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

Source: newswire

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