After years of neglect, Google finally sells Zagat

by Dominic Parks March 7, 2018, 0:12
After years of neglect, Google finally sells Zagat

Google had bought Zagat for $151 million almost seven years ago.

Google is selling restaurant recommendation company Zagat to The Infatuation, a nine-year-old company that is also in the business of writing and publishing recommendations of bars and restaurants, according to a report in today's New York Times.

Founded by Tim and Nina Zagat as a survey of their friends' opinions on New York City eateries, Zagat and its quotation-mark-laden reviews - appearing in the company's distinctive burgundy-colored guidebooks - once made the publisher synonymous with searches for restaurants. As Google has its own, separate review system now, moving the Zagat brand to a different company is probably positive for everyone. Google added a new look to Zagat's website in 2016 after they bought Zagat. The Infatuation, which covers restaurants both in the US and overseas, said it had its first profitable year in 2017.

"Tim and I are very excited for Zagat's next chapter with The Infatuation", said Nina Zagat. The startup is attuned to the ever-changing mobile market and nuances of social media platforms and could bring Zagat's library of content into its other products.

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This was about 25 years before Yelp existed, putting Zagat well ahead of its time in the world of crowdsourced, amateur restauraunt reviews. "Iconic brands don't become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets".

"We're just trying to build something that takes this powerful brand and continues to grow it", said Stang.

The Infatuation launched in 2009, and like Zagat, its founders Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal created the platform to help their friends find the best restaurants to suit their needs. The Infatuation claims to reach some 3 million users each month and boasts a presence in cities including Austin, Chicago, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco among others.

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