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High end diners prefer simply prepared food


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Reporter Elissa Elan covers the release of an interesting study.

 

1) Higher end diners prefer independent restaurants.

 

2) While value for the money is only modestly rated, failing to get value for the money is a big problem

 

3) Getting VIP treatment is a huge deal, and means a lot to many diners.

 

I was surprised that simply prepared foods scored so well. My expectation is that complicated, layered, etc meals would have been preferred. Perhaps the majority of people surveyed don't cook, and don't have access to quality purveyors?

 

The VIP treatment is interesting. I dined recently at a restaurant where my previous meal was in 2009. The hostess welcomed us, and thanked us for coming back. She mentioned a few new items on the menu as she led us to the table. The waiter's first comments were something along the lines of "we're pleased to have you back",

 

 

About 69 percent of those polled said food quality was most important to them when choosing where to dine and another 11 percent said consistency was key. About 9 percent said value for their money was important to them.

 

The study showed 63 percent of those polled said fine diners today prefer simply prepared foods served casually rather than richer offerings delivered in a more formal setting. Additionally, 61 percent said they were adventurous in their tastes and desired new and exotic dishes, while 11 percent described themselves as “steak and potatoes†types.

 

Inconsistent food quality and service ranked as top complaints. About 20 percent of respondents said inconsistency, as a whole, was their top complaint, and 50 percent said inconsistent food quality was their No. 1 complaint.

 

When it comes to service, 11 percent said inconsistency in that area was their biggest source of dissatisfaction.

 

When questioned about value, 52 percent of respondents said poor value for the money was one of their top three complaints, and 42 percent cited high menu prices as a source of dissatisfaction.

 

Read more: http://www.nrn.com/article/study-fine-dini...s#ixzz0s62itd58

 

 

NRN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIP treatment is a big deal

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I wonder how they defined a "fine-dining chain" -- Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Smith and Wollensky, and other steakhouse chains, most likely, although I'd expect those to skew toward chains rather than away. But what else? Did they include Wolfgang Puck's places, or Michel Richard's, or J-GV's? OTOH, don't most major metropolitan areas have at least one local star chef, and often more? We just don't know who the survey subjects were, or what the survey actually asked.

 

Overall, I'm not all that surprised: the best ingredients, prepared well, don't need fancy additions, as Peter pointed out (roast chicken is one of my test dishes, too). In spite of copious use of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and similar sauces, Americans probably still tend to equate "sauce" with "frou-frou" and trying to hide something. One diner's "adventurous" could just mean "I'll eat vegetables, and maybe something other than steak or Italian." But things like foams and gelées? :o They're downright un-American. :P

 

And who doesn't want VIP treatment? It certainly can improve the impression of value, whether it exists or not.

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Paul, Probably more frequently than anything else, especially from a high quality chef, I'll order roast chicken and enjoy what he can do with it.

 

And it always ends up tasting like chicken, doesn't it?

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Paul, Probably more frequently than anything else, especially from a high quality chef, I'll order roast chicken and enjoy what he can do with it.

 

And it always ends up tasting like chicken, doesn't it?

Only if we're lucky.

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I guess I'm in the minority. As a hobby cook, I really order something I can just as easily cook myself. 50% of the time I'm eating to relax and the other 50%, I'm a little more adventuresome. I'm sure high net worth people tend to look at a 400.00 meal as food, I look at it as a luxury. I'd rather spend my dollars on 2 great dinners a week than 7 simple ones. I'd rather grill my own Wagyu ribeye, eat my own heirloom tomatoes, pickle my own kim-chee, and make my own gnocchi.

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Me too. I order stuff that I can't make. Or dream of making. The harder the better.

There might be some skewing of diners that don't really want to be seen as the type of diners that order complicated stuff. Not cool to be sophisticated or fussy.

 

I'd be more inclined to say that I probably set aside X% a week for dining and given the generally fixed cost of high-end meals, that percentage is a hell of a lot more for some people in real dollars.

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