Zagat Survey: America's Top Restaurants

Tim Zagat of the Zagat Survey discusses this year's findings.
5:33 | 10/25/11

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Transcript for Zagat Survey: America's Top Restaurants
He's everywhere have lots did -- line today is that -- is out with its annual survey of America's top restaurants and joining us now to talk about this year's findings as Tim Zagat. Co-founder of the famous a survey ten thanks for joining us. Glad to be with you so all we -- -- the -- I -- of the weak economy when it comes to the restaurant business correct. Well yes and no yes -- dropped all very seriously. Three years ago but the economy is more or less stabilized. And as we measure -- people -- eating out about as often as they did in the past what a question are people tipping. Less as a way to save money at all. That's a big surprise because they continued to -- more. In 1980. They were tipping something like 17% 1990. It was seventeen they have 2000 it was eighteen. Percent it's now nationally nineteen point 1%. And it seems to go up 110 of a percent a year no matter how bad the economy is. Interesting so are becoming more generous -- I guess are right. To which is deemed most expensive city when it comes to eating out and where are the -- Well the two most expensive cities are Las Vegas. And New York but you have to understand that's because they have so many really very expensive restaurants that you can also. As you well know find bargains all over New York there over 800 restaurants. In New York where you can eat dinner for less than thirty dollars. And Las Vegas is famous for having a lot of inexpensive restaurants to go -- that's expensive ones. Right so the two cities with the most expensive also maybe have the best bargains. -- question. Our Tim had the most expensive restaurants always the ones with the best ratings. The most expensive restaurants tend to have very good ratings. But obviously. If they are very expensive and they don't do very good food. Don't have good decor and service they're not gonna last very long. People will quickly leave. An expensive restaurant in favor of -- one with -- -- This -- wanna get what you pay for -- -- right according to your survey people. In the great state of Texas -- out the most often in those appear in the northeast eat out. Please stop and let's take a look at some of these numbers and any thoughts. On their regional differences here -- looking at Houston and number 14 meals a week and then towards the end 33. Philadelphia Boston only two meals a week any reason why. -- -- number one. In Texas -- -- -- the kids in the back of the car and go out to family dining restaurant within a mile or two or three. Of their home in New York or Philadelphia they go to a little. Food store around the corner and bring food home. It's so much easier and -- closely. You know in a city with a lot of blood content. Things close body to eat at home. That's true we also have delivery of course here in New York. -- what are the big findings in this year's survey to him is that most people in fact 81% nationwide. Would like rules that force restaurants to post a letter grades from the Health Department. -- seen that here in New York have you seen as strong a -- where this is happening. Well for example in New York when it started it was about 80% in the last -- so it's gone up. Two I think 89%. With the years' experience that it most people think that they have a right to know that the restaurants they go to our sanitary. They expect the Health Department to check the restaurants but until you put the grade in the window. Nobody knows what the Health Department did. -- the layman doesn't. Los Angeles started this. About 1012 years ago nine 5% of the public. Approves of it there. And the restaurants have no major complaints about it. Ryan -- a great incentive to get things sucked it up to standard at -- yeah right. Every years and you ask diners what irritates public. The most when they eat out the top answer -- -- has actually been declining but the second most popular answer. Don't -- is on. On the noise and crowds but. 66%. Of all complaints. Relate to service and noise and crowds -- only 16%. That's been going up noise and crowds and the service dropped in the last five years from 72%. To 66. But the service is the weak link of the industry. And it really needs to be work -- thirteen million people. Are working in the service industry service part of the restaurant industry and it's. A vital. Unemployment. Senator interesting that the services and you know those complaints are still pretty high yet those -- -- go up our right Tim Zagat co-founder of the Zagat Survey thanks so much for joining us to talk about your survey. America's top restaurants out today. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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