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Zagat: Average Phoenix diner will spend $31, pick Italian for dinner tonight

(StockSnap Photo)

PHOENIX — If you’re planning on going out to grab a bite for dinner in Phoenix, you should probably plan on bringing a couple of Jacksons for the pasta dish you’re ordering.

A report from Zagat on dining trends for the Phoenix metro area said the average person will spend $30.85 on a dinner out, among some other interesting facts.

If we continue using Zagat’s numbers — which we will — the average tip left by diners in the Valley is 18.9 percent. This means servers will earn about $5.83 in tips for each person they take care of on a nightly basis.

But tipping can be a finicky thing. Phoenix-area diners said their biggest irritant while eating out is the service, which will likely affect the tip. That was followed by noise levels, crowds and menu prices.

When it comes to picking a place for dinner, most Phoenicians will likely be singing “That’s Amore.” About 19 percent of Valley residents said they would pick Italian over any other meal, followed closely by American and seafood. Mexican food was a distant fourth.

If they find an Italian place they want to try, just under 40 percent of Phoenicians will turn to the Internet to make a reservation. However, 37 percent are just fine with picking up the phone and booking a table the old-fashioned way.

About 60 percent of diners said it’s acceptable for either them or someone they’re eating with to use a mobile device — in moderation — as they’re snacking on their spaghetti Bolognese.

However, 30 percent said it is never OK to use a phone at the table, so maybe wait to check Twitter on the way back to the car.

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