Zagat’s Burger Week & Survey

A few weeks back it was “Burger Week” on the Zagat blog. During their meat patty coverage Zagat revealed that they had surveyed over 1000 folks about their love for the Burger. Below you can check out the surprising and not so surprising results:

It was a carnivorous crowd, with the respondents reporting that they eat the favorite foodstuff an average of 4.3 times each month, which basically boils down to once a week. There was a gender divide represented in the results, with women eating an average of 3.4 burgers each month vs. 4.9 for the gents.

$$$: How Much Should A Good Burger Cost?

There are $5 burgers and there are $30 burgers, so what is a fair price for the dish? The agreement seems to be that the price for a patty should be somewhere in the $10-$15 range, with 50% of surveyors saying that’s what they’re willing to spend. But there is clearly a market for premium burgers, with 22% of addicts reporting that they’re wiling to spend over $15 (and 8% of those said they are willing to spend over $20).

The Stats: How Much Are You Willing to Spend on a Burger?

Under $10 Only: 29%
$10 – $14.99: 50%
$15 – $19.99: 14%
$20 or more: 8%

Medium Rare Please, and No Thanks on That Veggie Burger (At Least for Guys)

A plurality of burger lovers prefer their meat to be a little pink, with 38% reporting that they like their patty to be medium rare, followed by 36% who enjoy medium. It turns out that a well-done burger (aka a “hockey puck”) really does turn people off, with only 6% of folks saying they like it cooked to a crisp.

The gender divide also was evident when it came to veggie burgers. While 50% of females said they enjoy a meatless option on occasion, only 33% of guys admit to eating these.

The Stats: How Do You Like Your Burger Cooked?

Medium Rare: 38%
Medium: 36%
Medium Well: 16%
Well Done: 6%
Rare: 4%

Specialty Restaurants Rock

In a world that’s awash with high-end offerings, the drive-thru just doesn’t cut it anymore. While 14% report heading to a fast-food joint to get their fix, 50% say they prefer to go to a specialty burger restaurant, showing that efforts to trick out patties (Wagyu beef! Stuffed with foie gras!) have some merit. Carnivores also prep custom versions at home (14%) and head to everyday restaurants that may happen to serve a burger (18%), but dropping by your local lunch counter is a thing of the past. Only 3% report doing that – the days of the diner are dunzo!

With these stats, it should come as no surprise that 69% of people report that they’ve eaten a burger with gourmet ingredients like truffles or foie gras.

The Stats: Where Do You Typically Go?

Specialty Burger Restaurant: 15%
More General Restaurant: 18%
Fast-Food Spot: 14%
Diner: 3%
Make at Home: 14%

Photo: Gabi Porter

The Fixins: More Is Better (And Break Out the Fancy Buns)

When it comes to choosing toppings, the correct answer seems to be “all of them.” Cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, grilled onions and pickles all proved popular. There were some turnoffs, including jalapeños, raw onions and mushrooms, but folks don’t seem hesitant to load up. Oh, and while the restaurant is busy adding toppings, it should break out the fancy bread – 60% of diners say they want a specialty bun (brioche, etc.), while only 23% prefer a regular bun.

The Stats:

Which Toppings Do You Like Best? (choose multiple):
Cheese: 82%
Lettuce: 59%
Tomato: 59%
Grilled Onion: 56%
Bacon: 54%
Pickles: 48%
Raw Onions: 43%
Mushrooms: 33%

Which Is Your Least Favorite Topping? (choose one):
Jalapeños: 20%
Raw Onions: 15%
Mushrooms: 13%
Guac: 12%
Pickles :12%

Condiments and Cheese

Ok, no one’s mind is blown by the fact that people like ketchup (66% say they put it on their burger), but folks also like mustard, mayo, barbecue sauce and Thousand Island dressing. In fact, only 6% of surveyors say they don’t put any condiments on their patty. But you can hold the relish (or save it for the hot dogs), as that was voted the group’s least favorite.

When it comes to cheese, cheddar is the clear winner, with 38% marking it as their favorite. That’s followed by American, blue cheese and Swiss.

The Stats:

Favorite Condiment (choose multiple):
Ketchup: 66%
Mustard: 47%
Mayo: 44%
Barbecue Sauce: 27%
Thousand Island: 17%

Least Favorite Condiment: (choose 1):
Relish: 20%
Mayo: 19%
Hot Sauce: 18%

Cheese, Please:
Cheddar: 38%
American: 15%
Blue Cheese: 13%
Swiss: 12%
Monterey Jack: 6%

Burgers for Lunch

It’s no surprise that a majority of respondents report enjoying burgers at dinner (75% to be precise), but 65% of folks who took the poll said that they also enjoy a midday patty (respondents were able to vote more than once). Though we’ve had our share of patties after a night at the bar, only 9% say they like a burger for a late-night snack, while a die-hard 2% report eating burgers for breakfast.

The Stats: Do You Mostly Eat Burgers for…?

Dinner: 75%
Lunch: 60%
Late-Night Snack: 9%
Breakfast: 2%

Turkey Burgers Are Lame; Grass-Fed Beef = Meh

People overwhelmingly prefer good ol’ fashioned beef in their burgers – a whopping 85% want that Whopper made with cow, while only 5% of diners prefer bison and 4% enjoy turkey. Are the other options better for you? Yes. Does anyone care? Not so much.

The survey also saw some mixed emotions about grass-fed and organic beef. Despite these terms popping up on more and more menus, only 15% said that it’s very important to them. Forty-three percent said it’s somewhat important, and 42% said it’s not important at all.

Sides and Minis: No One Loves Tater Tots, and the Slider Stands Alone

A burger is nothing without a side of fries, right? Well, the surveyors agree, with 63% saying golden-brown spuds are their favorite side, followed by onion rings, which 16% of respondents favored. Sadly, no one loves tater tots. The third-place side dish got only 6% of the vote.

The slider fared just as poorly as those sorry tots. Though they seem popular during sports games, only 6% said they prefer the mini edition to the full size. Restaurant owners, take note!

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About Burger Beast

I started writing the Burger Beast food blog to tell folks about those little forgotten gems in South Florida. Over the course of the last 5 years or so I've added News, Opinions, & Tips on a variety of Food related subjects. My first love will always be Burgers but Comfort Food is where it's at. At the end of the day I’m a regular dude who writes about a bunch of things I think you should know about.