America’s growing foodie culture has made it easier to find amazing culinary experiences across the country. But those fancy dining options come at a price. Michelin, who knows a little something about high-end restaurants thanks to their much discussed guides, wanted to find out just how much Americans would be willing to pay for the “dining experience of their lives,” so with the help of the people at Harris Poll, they surveyed over 2,000 adults on the subject.
According to their findings, Michelin claims the average American would pay a whopping $203 “in order to have a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience at a gourmet restaurant.”
When broken down into different demographics, millennials are especially loose with their dining dollars. People ages 18 to 34 said they’d pay $282 for such a meal. Meanwhile, those who are ready for retirement are a bit thriftier: Participants over 65 said the best meal of their lives is only worth $122.
By region, those in the West were by far the highest rollers, saying they’d spend a crazy $352 for the best dinner ever. This was way higher than the other three regions – Northeast ($182), the South ($149) and Midwest ($148) – leaving you wondering if all of Harris’s robocalls were to the Beverly Hills area code.
Men also were willing to spend more than women. The average man said they’d spend $241 for such an experience; the average woman’s figure came in at $166.
Still, with all this info in hand, I’m not entirely sure what the takeaway should be. The “best” meal of your life is such a limited experience that the numbers don’t really speak to how much people are willing to pay for the other 99.9 percent of the time they eat out. One thought, though: If you don’t want to spend a fortune on dinner, maybe don’t let your male millennial friend from the West pick the restaurant.
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