Google acquires restaurant review company Zagat

8 Sep 2011

Google has acquired Zagat, a business hosting consumer survey-generated reviews and ratings on restaurants, hotels and leisure activities.

Marissa Mayer, VP of Local, Maps and Location Services at Google said in a blog post that Zagat would become “a cornerstone” of its local offerings.

“With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer-based surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry,” said Mayer.

Zagat was founded more than 32 years ago, providing consumer survey-generated reviews across print, the web, mobile devices and television.

The survey approach rates specific qualities of the venues on a 30-point scale to let people find the best places to go. It operates in 13 categories in more than 100 cities.

“Their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content) gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the internet as we know it today even existed,” said Mayer.

Both Tim and Nina Zagat, founders of the service, will continue in the business as co-chairs and will use Google’s resources to expand further.

“We have spent enough time with Google senior management to know that they fully share our belief in user-generated content, and our commitment to accuracy and fairness in providing consumers with the information necessary to make smart decisions about where to eat, travel and shop,” they said in a separate statement.