Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dining disparities between genders

So sad - my NY pictures are all trapped on my computer, which will remain unusable until tech support/boyfriend fixes it on Monday. Expect lots of scoop on NY next week, though!

In the meantime, I saw this interesting article in the NY Times about the differences between men and women when it comes to eating out.

A couple points that stood out to me:

Stephen Starr, who owns Buddakan and Morimoto, said that women more often hesitate if the name or look of a dish is too blunt a reminder that they’re biting into an animal.

“If it’s something that says chorizo with some sort of egg, they’ll eat it,” Mr. Starr said. “If it’s a suckling pig, they’re not going near it.”

This certainly doesn't hold true for me. In fact, I had the most ridiculously delicious suckling pig ever this past weekend at Yerba Buena in NY. Granted, the article acknowledges that hardcore foodies whether male or female tend to be equally adventurous, so perhaps I'm not the best person to judge the accuracy of this statement. I have noticed that my girlfriends are far more likely to order fish than men are, but they'll turn their nose up at head-on fish, so maybe there's something to this. Seriously, though, is having the head chopped off fooling anyone? It's still a dead fish!

“On a Saturday night,” he continued, “you get these two ladies who walk in and say, ‘We haven’t seen each other in ages, we’re going to talk and talk and talk,’ and they’ll sit for four hours. Women are more verbal than men. That’s a scientific fact. And I’m like, ‘Ladies, I have reservations for these tables. You’ve got to go.’ ”

This point I can definitely see. It doesn't usually cross my mind when I'm gabbing with the gals that in fact we're dominating a table. If men talk when they get together as little as they talk to us, then I bet they're done with their meal in no time!

I've often lamented that a group of women will get out calculators to calculate a bill down to the penny, while men will just divide things up in a far more efficient manner. I can envision that this kind of nickle and diming the bill probably leads to lower tips, too, but in a smaller group, I've never seen much of a difference. I know both men and women who are giant tippers.

Another recent article about a no-tip restaurant in San Diego cited the fact that large tables on average tip less than small ones because everyone assumes someone else will pick up the slack. That's why most restaurants tack on automatic gratuity for more than 6 people. Ever had someone leave early from a group dinner early and leave cash for the bill that is a fraction of what it needs to be? Major pet peeve!

Interesting article for sure. I'm going to pay attention to how waiters treat me versus the boyfriend and see what holds true in Atlanta.

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