The hands-down winner of the December Hot Chocolate Crawl with nearly 50% of the vote for both best-tasting hot chocolate and best value:
The runner-up for best-tasting hot chocolate with 23% of the vote:
The runner-up for best value with 16% of the vote:
Milk & Cookies Bakery
Here is the detailed break-out among the six locations:
FEEDBACK FROM RESPONDENTS:
Organization/Pacing of the Crawl:
"I was really impressed that you were able to cope so well with rough weather and an uncertain number of participants."
"I like that it was haphazard. This made the experience more fun... Next time pick better places, most sipping hot chocolate is too sweet and not much better than Swiss Miss while lacking in the homey comfort feeling."
"I think listing the closing times for each place might be helpful; because someone in my group wanted to go [to Jacques Torres when it was closing at 6pm], we ended up making a mad dash across town once we found out it was closing in 15 minutes."
"This was amazing! Thank you for putting this together. Loved the map and the score card."
"The crawl was great! I think we hit a wall after a little while...we all went through a huge cocoa/sugar rush and then crashed pretty hard. I really don't have any suggestions other than keep doing these, please!"
"It was GLORIOUS... but we should've paced ourselves.. Hot Chocolate is a mean crawl, it's so rich and sugary... we had choco coma after the second place was persevered until the third when we felt a bit sick and withdrew for dinnertime."
"Perhaps fewer locations (even splitting portions in half, most of us could not consume all of this hot chocolate - I guess some of us should have split portions in quarters instead of halves). Maybe a 4 location maximum may have been better."
[Editors note: Remember, you can visit however many locations as you want and you are encouraged to split portions with your group members. Having 6 locations was a necessity to divide the oversized number of participants into manageable numbers for the individual locations]
"I liked how you had intentionally organized each route so that groups wouldn't all end up at any one location at the exact same time. Next time, maybe consider letting participants know you've already done this so that we don't think we're beating the system by going to #4 before #1."
"Have the areas closer together, and suggestions for how to tackle the crawl."
"It was a little crowded in some of the places! But I think that just attested to the quality of the places."
Specific Location Feedback:
"All places were great, but Marie Belle was a big disappointment - they gave us 'special tour' hot chocolate that even with the $2 off + free cookie was not good. Looking forward to the January tour!"
"It would be good to make sure that the stores/restaurants know we're coming. The workers at Milk & Cookies hadn't known and they were really angry and rude."
[Editors note: All locations were contacted in advance to warn them 100+ people would be attending the crawl and Milk & Cookies Bakery was aware of the crawl--they even offered a free cookie with purchase of hot chocolate]
"Milk & Cookies hot chocolate was watery and tasted like a mix--surprised that it was on the crawl. Also, the employees at Jacques Torres said they were overwhelmed by the crowd and wish they had been given some warning so maybe next time call 'em first. Other than that, it was fantastic. Made new friends, got a taste of hot chocolate heaven, and discovered new shops."
"Warn places that we are coming. Milk and Cookies had no idea, and they immediately ran out of whole milk (making it with skim milk made their hot chocolate taste simply awful, almost undrinkable), and were dubious about the free cookie."
[Editors note: NYC Food Crawl received special offer confirmation from Milk & Cookies 10 days before the event]
ABOUT THE RESPONDENTS:
NYC Food Crawl begins to gather at Washington Square Park for the Hot Chocolate Crawl
41 people (approx 30% of attendees) completed the survey
49% live in Manhattan; 33% live in Brooklyn; 19% live elsewhere
31% learned of the crawl from the NYC Food Crawl Facebook Group
36% were referred to the crawl by a friend
91% were attending a NYC Food Crawl for the first time (!!)
85% visited 3 or more locations along the route; 47% visited 4 or more locations
95% rated their Hot Chocolate Crawl experience as a "4" or "5" on a scale of 1 to 5 for satisfaction