Restaurant review brand Zagat is set to change ownership from Google to restaurant discovery platform The Infatuation. Google originally bought Zagat close to a decade ago for $151 million.
“We’re thrilled by this opportunity to acquire such a pioneering and trusted restaurant guide as Zagat,”Chris Stang, The Infatuation’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, tells The New York Times. “Iconic brands don’t become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets. It is the perfect complement to what we have been building at The Infatuation.”
Longtime restaurant reviewers Tim and Nina Zagat are also enthusiastic about the acquisition, attesting that the two brands have a shared vision for helping people discover restaurants and build a user community. Zagat has released their iconic slim, maroon-hued guide annually for New York City since the company was established in 1979. It will reportedly retain its branding under the new ownership.
Early word is that The Infatuation will remain largely the same — reviews and guides — while Zagat will shift to expand its user surveys and debut a new platform for use around the world that seeks to provide a more reliable ratings system than, say, Yelp.