“We discovered across every demographic that American diners would be willing to pay a sizable sum to eat the best meal of their lives at a high-end restaurant,” said Cynthia Ochterbeck, Michelin’s US editorial director for travel guides, in the release. “Perhaps this is the influence of around-the-clock food shows and celebrity chefs, but the fine food movement continues to see an extraordinary growth in popularity.”
In addition to the differences among the age groups, the results revealed some other interesting insights into Americans' food preferences: "Geographically, diners in the West are much bigger spenders, saying they would pay $352 for an unsurpassed meal, which is essentially double what people would pay in the Northeast ($182), the South ($149) and Midwest ($148)," the release states. "Gender is also a factor, according to survey results. Men are willing to drop an average of $241 for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, while women are inclined to spend considerably less on average, at $166."