NEW YORK, NY – Despite the government shutdown, here’s another sign the economy’s looking up: the new Zagat report says folks are eating out now more than ever before. Their 2014 survey says the average American eats 47% of their meals in a restaurant.
Back in 2011, Houston topped Zagat’s list for cities where folks ate out the most. We did it 4.1 times a week on average. But much like the Yankees stomped our ‘Stros last weekend, “New Yawkers” stole our title this year. They eat 58% of their lunches and dinners away from home. And their average meal costs more than 48 bucks– reason 752 “not” to move to New York City.
But what about us? Are folks here still ditching the kitchen and going out to eat? We stopped by a place that’s always jumping, Thai Cottage on Richmond, to find out. Patron Weldon George says he’s cut back on dining out, “I eat out about twice a week– once during the week and once on the weekend.”
As a University of Houston student, Alexia Banos says she eats out much more, “I would say about four to five times a week at a sit down restaurant and then probably another two to three at fast food establishments.”
“I do enjoy cooking but, sometimes, it’s easier to eat out,” explains Rachel Droll, who dines away from home a couple of times a week, “Someone else is making me dinner.”
Mom Jaspreet Dewar says she skips cooking four to five times a week: “I think the prices have also gone (down to) something which is more affordable (so) it’s the same– you cook at home or you eat out.”
Pam Sopprasong, manager at Thai Cottage restaurant, agrees, “The price is kind of cheap here, and the taste is very good, so people come back all the time.”
Guess it’s inevitable– in a city of more than 11,000 restaurants like Houston, folks are going to go out and get their grub on!