After years of neglect, Google finally sells Zagat

Greg Lawrence
March 7, 2018

The search giant bought Zagat seven years ago for $151 million.

Restaurant review newcomer The Infatuation announced on Monday a deal to buy veteran Zagat from Google for an undisclosed amount.

The Infatuation, which was founded by former music industry execs Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, reviews restaurants in such US cities as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as worldwide locations including Melbourne, Australia and Cape Town, South Africa.

"Zagat has helped us provide useful and relevant dining results for users across our various products", said Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of Product and Engineering, Google. "The Infatuation is an innovative company that will be a terrific home for the Zagat brand". Chris Stang, a co-founder of The Infatuation and its chief executive, said in a telephone interview to NY Times.

Zagat, meanwhile, has lost much of the shine it had when Google purchased it almost a decade ago. Its Text Rex texting recommendation service staffed by humans recommends restaurants for users' particular occasions or cravings.

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The company said it became profitable a year ago.

But The Infatuation, a restaurant reviews site that started in much the same fashion that Zagat did, sees the brand as an iconic institution and is thrilled to welcome it to the ranks. "Iconic brands don't become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets". The company covers major cities in both the USA and overseas, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle.

"Tim and I are very excited for Zagat's next chapter with The Infatuation", Nina Zagat said. Now, thanks to a report from The New York Times, we know where Zagat is heading.

The company intends to keep Zagat as a separate brand, using it as a user-generated-content counterpart to The Infatuation. "It is the flawless complement to what we have been building at The Infatuation".

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