According to a recent Michelin Survey, American diners are willing to spend over $200 for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience at a gourmet restaurant.
Americans said they would splurge an average of $203 in order to have a memorable dining experience at a gourmet restaurant, according to a recent online survey by Harris Poll sponsored by Michelin, publisher of the world’s most celebrated restaurant guide.
“We discovered across every demographic that American diners would be willing to pay a sizable sum to eat the best meal of their lives at a high-end restaurant,” said Cynthia Ochterbeck, Michelin’s U.S. editorial director for travel guides. “Perhaps this is the influence of around-the-clock food shows and celebrity chefs, but the fine food movement continues to see an extraordinary growth in popularity.”
Michelin’s survey with Harris Poll queried more than 2,000 U.S. adults, revealing some surprising preferences about great food experiences:
- Millennials (ages 18-34) on average would pay $282 for this type of culinary experience, compared to those diners ages 45-54 who would shell out $170, and $122 for those 65 and older.
- Geographically, diners in the West are much bigger spenders, saying they would pay $352 for an unsurpassed meal, which is essentially double what people would pay in the Northeast ($182), the South ($149) and Midwest ($148).
- Gender is also a factor, according to survey results. Men are willing to drop an average of $241 for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, while women are inclined to spend considerably less on average, at $166.
The Survey also reported what cuisine American diners would likely splurge on and the results are surprising:
- A quarter of U.S. adults who participated in the Michelin survey say that steakhouse cuisine is their favorite choice for dining.
- Italian ranked as the second choice for the meal of a lifetime. Notably, nearly 1 in 4 Northeast diners (24 percent) favor Italian fare, versus 18 percent in the South, 15 percent in the Midwest and 17 percent in the West. Tied for American adults’ third choice are Mexican, American and Continental, all at 13 percent in the survey.
The Michelin Red Guide is published in 24 countries, covering four continents. Each year, Michelin food inspectors award the finest eateries with the coveted Michelin stars: one star, “a very good restaurant in its category;” two stars, “excellent cuisine, worth a detour;” and three stars, “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” Michelin recognizes about 112 three-star restaurants in the world.