The Zagat Survey // or zə-GAT was established by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979 as a way to collect and correlate the ratings of restaurants by diners. For their first guide, covering New York City, the Zagats surveyed their friends. As of 2005, the Zagat Survey included 70 cities, with reviews based on the input of 250,000 individuals reporting over the years. In addition to restaurants, Zagat guides rate hotels, nightlife, shopping, zoos, music, movies, theaters, golf courses, and airlines. The guides are sold in book form, and formerly as a paid subscription on its web site.
The ratings are on a 30-point scale, made up of ratings for defined areas including food, decor, service, and cost (30 is the highest rating on the scale and 1 is the lowest). In addition to numeric scores, the survey also includes a short descriptive paragraph that incorporates selected quotations (typically a few words) from several reviewers' comments about each restaurant or service, as well as typical pricing and other information.
On September 8, 2011, the company was acquired by Google for a reported $151 million. Google planned to use the acquisition to provide more content and reviews for its locally oriented services. Google had initially planned to acquire competing site Yelp instead. On May 30, 2012, Zagat was officially integrated into Google's services, with its reviews now appearing on Google Maps and Google+ Local pages for relevant restaurants. Additionally, the Zagat.com service became free to use, and once required a Google+ account to register though that is no longer the case.
In December, 2012, Google informed most of the former Zagat employees, who had been hired as temporary contractors, that their contracts would expire as of June 30, 2013.
- Consumer Reports
- Gault Millau
- Harden's, a similar London and UK guide
- Michelin Guide
- Restaurant rating
- Yelp, Inc.
- "Zagat Survey Taps Amy McIntosh as its First CEO". Business Wire. 2000-10-30.
- "Zagat Closes the Book on Sale Effort". The New York Times. 2008-06-05.
- "Google Acquires Zagat To Flesh Out Local Reviews". TechCrunch. 2011-09-08.
- "Google Paid $151 Million for Zagat". Forbes. 2011-10-27.
- "Zagat Goes Free with Launch of Google+ Local". paidContent. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "How A Great Google Workplace Turned Into A 'Nightmare'". Business Insider. 25 Jun 2013.
- Official website
- Zagat on Facebook
- Zagat on Twitter
- Works by or about Zagat in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Zagat collected news and commentary at The New York Times