Zagat released the results of its latest Texas Restaurants survey today, with detailed local information, ratings and reviews at ZAGAT.com, on its award winning mobile site ZAGAT.mobi, and ZAGAT TO GO? for iPhone, Android and smartphones. The exclusively-digital results include coverage of 1,818 restaurants in Austin/Hill Country, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Each restaurant was visited an average of 490 times in the past year.
Plugged-In: When online surveyors were asked how they choose to make their reservations, 23% said they make reservations via the Internet – up from only 11% two years ago.
Economics: When asked what effects the weak economy has had on their dining-out habits, surveyors report being more attentive to prices (35%), eating out less (32%), eating at less expensive places (26%), skipping appetizers and/or desserts (19%), and cutting back on alcohol (17%). Meal cost inflations is higher than ever before: Austin (7.5%), Houston (5.9%) and San Antonio (7.3%). Compared to two years ago, 37% of surveyors report spending more when dining out vs. 18% who said less. However, Texas remains a relative bargain as the average cost of a meal in all four major Texas markets ranks below the national average of $35.10, especially in Houston ($32.53), San Antonio ($31.34) and Austin ($30.76). Dallas/Ft. Worth, the most expensive dining area ($35.03) had the lowest inflation rate (0.6%). When asked what positive effects the economic downturn has had on their dining habits, 49% of surveyors report finding better deals at restaurants, while 34% say that it’s easier for them to get a table at hard-to-get-in places.
Dining Out Less: Confirming the above results, Houstonians say that they are dining out less than they did two years ago – 4.0 times per week down from 4.2 in 2008. Close behind are Dallas at 3.6 (down from 4.0) and San Antonio at 3.5 (down from 4.0). Still, Texas diners eat out more often than anywhere else in the U.S. – for example, Los Angeles (3.4) and New York City (3.0). The Zagat national average is 3.2 meals out per week.
Winners: This year’s Top winners in each city can be viewed here.
About Zagat Survey, LLC
Known as the “burgundy bible,” Zagat Survey is the world’s most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play around the globe, and as 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.