A recent survey yields a portrait of a Lakeland diner — at least one who’s interested in higher-end restaurants in the city center. The profile: a 30-something woman who eats out at least 10 times a month and doesn’t mind shelling out $10 at lunch and $20 at dinner — before alcohol is added.

To be sure, the survey is far from scientific. The 277 people who filled it out last month found it on the Facebook and LinkedIn pages of Posto 9 (Brazilian “gastropub” set to open in December) and Nineteen61 (“premiere Latin cuisine” restaurant that opened in Dixieland last winter) or received a survey link via email because they said they want information from those restaurants.

Based on the most frequent answers to the survey questions, here’s a profile of the restaurant fans who responded:

A white, married, female Lakeland resident in her 30s who has a bachelor’s degree and whose household earns $75k-$99k a year, she likes Italian food and eats out at least 10 times a month, often between 7 and 9 p.m. looking for quality food at casual dining venues.

She typically pays $9 to $11 at lunch and $19 to $21 at dinner (excluding alcohol) and is likely to spend $6-$12 at dinner on craft beer. She enjoys live music from solo jazz artists. When looking for a restaurant, she turns to Yelp and is extremely likely to use OpenTable to make reservations.

Posto 9 owner Marco Franca said the results didn’t surprise him because they echo a market study conducted for the restaurant by Vucurevich|Simons Advisory Group.

“Customers in Lakeland are far more sophisticated than the common folklore dictates,” Franca said.  “This is an excellent sign as customers are more demanding, want more options which support our strategy that Lakeland will become a culinary destination.”

Survey results:

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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