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Zagat: Sexism on Menu In New York

October 25, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Sexism is being served up at New York eateries, according to a survey released today.

Eighty percent of the diners surveyed for the 2000 edition of the Zagat New York City Restaurant Survey said they think men are treated better than women in restaurants.

The results suggest that men, when dining in mixed company, are targeted as primary check payers by restaurant staff, who lavish better service their way, says the restaurant guide.

``It also signals that when dining among themselves, women are still accorded second-class status _ poor seating, slower service, or worse,″ the guide says.

The survey of 19,227 diners also found they pay about $10 more per meal to eat in New York restaurants than their counterparts pay across the country. But New Yorkers don’t seem to mind _ they’re leaving bigger tips, too.

The average price for a meal in a New York restaurant, including drink, tax and tip, was $33.17 in 1999, up from $31.68 last year, according to the Zagat survey, which was released to the press on Sunday. That’s the highest price since the 1990 recession.

The national average for 24 cities surveyed by Zagat was $23.84 per meal.

The average tip left by those who participated in Zagat’s New York survey was 18 percent, up one percentage point from last year. Eight other cities and areas surveyed by Zagat’s found tips averaging slightly less _ 17.75 percent.

For all that dough, gourmets also got a few new treats. The last year of the 1990s brought the first restaurant to offer a free lunch if your meal is late, the first eatery to specialize in peanut butter and the first with a ``cell phone zone″ for those who like to chat while they munch.

The annual Zagat guide is based on reviews from consumers who fill out questionnaires rating food, decor, service and cost, then pick out their five favorite eateries.

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