By The Numbers

The recreational spending habits of local residents are changing in today’s economy. And dining out is one luxury on which people are spending fewer of their precious greenbacks. The recently released 2009/2010 Zagat survey of Westchester and Hudson Valley restaurants demonstrates that, though they’re paying more attention to price, restaurant-goers are sticking to their guns when it comes to the quality of their meals. More than 4,500 area residents responded to the survey, which showed that diners will still pay top dollar for locally grown ingredients, organic or sustainable foods, and healthier menu options. Here are some of the results:

$38.99 is the current average price of a meal, up from $36.41 in 2007/08

1/3 of diners say they eat out less often than they did two years ago

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6 out of 10 people say they want restaurants to list calorie counts on menus

3/4 of those surveyed say that the availability of low-carbohydrate, low-fat, or heart-healthy options is important

70% prefer to eat food that is locally grown or raised

1/2 of respondents say they are willing to pay more for organic food

42% confirm that the current economic situation has led them to take the bill into account before they order, and pay more attention to the prices of their meals

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37% of diners are cutting back on expensive dining and choosing cheaper restaurants


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