Consumer Trends

Feedback from Zagat’s latest New York City survey

The results of Zagat’s 2011 New York City Restaurant Survey revealed that in line with the still sluggish economy, many of the 123 restaurant newcomers are stylistically casual and modestly priced. In addition, Zagat respondents are eating more home-cooked meals and dining out at less expensive, more casual spots. Although the New York dining scene has not fully bounced back from the recession, some Zagat ratings are improving. The new guide covers 2,115 restaurants, voted on by 40,560 local diners.

Tougher times for restaurants

  • The average cost of a meal decreased from $41.81 last year to $41.76 in 2010
  • 27% of surveyors are eating out less often than six months ago, while only 11% of surveyors are eating out more often
  • Meals eaten out/taken out went down from 60% in 2005 to 52% in 2010
  • Pre-recession, Zagat participants ate 3.3 meals out per week; that number dropped to 3 last year

Better times for customers

  • Surveyors ranking the overall dining scene on a 30-point scale gave hospitality 17 and table availability 14, an increase from 15 and 13 respectively
  • Complaints about crowding and noise dropped from 33% (pre-recession) to 23%
  • In 2010, 657 eateries offered dinner for less than $30 and 434 offered dinner for less than $25
  • 200 eateries now offer bargain prix fixe menus

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Red Lobster needs a buyer. How does Darden sound?

Reality Check: The casual dining giant sold Red Lobster in a cloud of controversy a decade ago. Here's why a return to the fold may not be as crazy as it sounds.


KFC goes portable and poppable to grab the snacking generation

Behind the Menu: Bite-size Apple Pie Poppers, created to target customers' sweet spot, lend themselves to line extensions to expand the chain’s snack selections.

Emerging Brands

5 pre-emerging restaurant brands ready for takeoff

These small concepts are still proving out their ideas, but each shows promise as a potential candidate for the next generation of emerging chains.


More from our partners