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How the survey was conducted

INSIDEHow the survey was conducted

Suncoast Opinion Surveys, the independent research division of the St. Petersburg Times, conducted telephone interviews with 1,818 adults in the five-county Tampa Bay and North Suncoast area from Jan. 10-Jan. 24, 1990. The survey was conducted using a computer-generated sample including new, unlisted and listed phone numbers. Because households were randomly selected, the survey results should be representative of all diners in the area. Professional, trained interviewers conducted the polling from the Suncoast Opinion Surveys office in St. Petersburg. A total of 336 adults were polled in Citrus County, 341 in Hernando, 331 in Pasco, 403 in Pinellas and 406 in Hillsborough. More people were surveyed in Pinellas and Hillsborough to achieve a sampling of opinions that was in proportion to the number of restaurants in those counties. Survey results were weighted to reflect the number of diners polled in each county.

Cover by Times photographer Fraser Hale; styling by Karen Godbout, a Maine restaurateur and St. Petersburg caterer, in her St. Petersburg home.