OMG it’s here! The new 2011 Zagat for San Francisco Dining is here.
And unlike telephone books, our “Burgundy Bible” is something Bay Areans actually still want to have these days.
But there’s a lot of other stuff in today’s release. Stuff like this:
“An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA).”
Check it out, below
Zagat 2011 Bay Area Survey Reveals Diners Cutting Back, Yet Getting Values, In Tough Times
Ninety-Four Noteworthy Newcomers Show Restaurateurs are Betting on the Future; Food Trucks Roll into the Rankings; San Francisco Diners Support Healthful Eating; Gary Danko Sweeps for Food, Service and Popularity; El Tonayense Named “Best Buy”
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 — Zagat Survey released its 2011 San Francisco Restaurant Survey today, with results available in print, on ZAGAT.com and via ZAGAT TO GO for iPhone, iPad and Android. This year’s Survey covers 1,373 restaurants in the greater San Francisco Bay Area from the Wine Country up North to Carmel down South. Nearly two-thirds of the restaurants in the guide feature dinner costs under $40 and lunches below $30. Based on the feedback of over 10,000 avid local consumers, the typical Zagat-Rated restaurant was visited by surveyors over twice a day.
Cloudy Weather: The nation’s economic woes continue to affect local restaurateurs, as the average meal cost in San Francisco saw an unprecedented decline – a 1.6% decrease, from $39.40 in 2009, to $38.78 this year. Furthermore, the average cost of dining at the 20 most expensive restaurants has dropped 4.4% since the recession started. When asked how the economy is affecting their dining habits, 43% of surveyors report eating out less, 39% are more attentive to prices, 36% are picking less expensive places and 16 to 21% have cut back on alcohol, appetizers and desserts. Also, 10% say they’re less likely to try new places. Importantly, despite San Francisco’s reputation as a culinary center, locals report dining out 2.8 times per week on average, down from 3.2 pre-recession and below Zagat’s current 3.2 national average.
Silver Lining: Nonetheless, since the economic downturn, 50% of surveyors report finding better deals, 40% feel their patronage is more appreciated and 36% say it’s easier to land a table. While 59% of surveyors cite poor service as their top irritant when dining out, the decrease from 66% pre-recession suggests an improvement in the front-of-house. And it seems diners are starting to put their money where their mouths are, as the average tip increased from 18.4% pre-recession to 18.6% now. That there are 94 new arrivals in the Survey shows that restaurateurs are betting on the future.
“The down economy has made dining out more affordable, and diners have plenty of options to choose from,” said Tim Zagat, CEO and Co-Founder of Zagat Survey. “However, the good news for consumers may be bad news for restaurateurs as dining spending has declined. Fortunately, 51% of surveyors are confident that fine-dining out will bounce back with the economy.”
Keep on Truckin': For the first time in the San Francisco guide, surveyors put food trucks and pop-up eateries on the map with full ratings and reviews – a welcome resource for the 23% of locals who report following food trucks (and other restaurants) via Twitter and Facebook. It’s also notable that this year’s Best Bang for the Buck is El Tonayense, a traveling taco-truck fleet (with a brick-and-mortar offshoot). It even bested In-N-Out Burger, as well as last year’s best buy, Saigon Sandwiches (now No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). More mobile eateries can be found on ZAGAT.com, including RoliRoti, Spencer on the Go! and hot dog purveyor Let’s Be Frank, and farmer’s market stands like 4505 Meats, Cal-Korean Namu and Tacolicious.
It goes on and on, see you after the jump