San Francisco Bay area residents' penchant for dining out has been confirmed by a survey showing they lead the United States in spending at restaurants.
Area residents spent $771 per person last year in restaurant tabs, according to a survey by Restaurant Business magazine.
However, the survey of the nation's top 100 restaurant markets depicts the region as one of the toughest places to open a new restaurant.
San Francisco "has more restaurants than there is demand for," said Joan Lang, deputy editor of the New York-based magazine. "Competition is stiffer in San Francisco."
The region's appetite for eating out is partly due to the population's overall higher income, Lang said. Moreover, she said, "San Francisco has a long history of having some of the most innovative restaurants in the country. It's always been a real dining mecca."