Local Restaurant Discovery Platform The Infatuation to Acquire Zagat from Google
March 6, 2018 | Contributed by: Courtney Dobson
Yesterday, The Infatuation, a restaurant discovery platform, announced it is set to purchase the popular restaurant review platform, Zagat, from Google. This acquisition will broaden The Infatuation’s profile and add to its vast network of restaurant reviews and guides and will introduce Zagat data to its “highly engaged, millennial audience.”
From a search perspective, restaurants are by far the most searched for business category as one might expect. Based on a 2016 LSA survey data from 8,000 U.S. consumers, over half of respondents had recently made a restaurant-related purchasing decision which was the most overall. Additionally, 74% said they used a search engine to find a local restaurant.
The two brands will continue to operate separately, with individual objectives in mind. The Infatuation will remain editorially focused with situational reviews and guides, while Zagat will expand user surveys and create an advanced tech-centered platform.
Zagat will have the opportunity to expand user surveys and develop a tech-driven approach to crowdsourced restaurant reviews. The two companies will work together to extend product offerings internationally.
Zagat was founded in 1979 to establish a company that organized restaurant reviews for interested diners. At its peak, Zagat covered over 90 cities worldwide, providing relevant dining results for users. The company was sold to Google in September of 2011, and despite valiant efforts like the unveiling of a new website in 2016, Google was unable to grow the company successfully and decided to sell.
The Infatuation’s restaurant reviews are written by a small group of writers and editors that show up unannounced to a restaurant, paying for everything (no discounts, reservations, comps, etc.) and then, after a few visits, formulates a review, guide or listing detailing the experience and relevant information.
The acquisition will help The Infatuation expand its footprint. Currently the platform is only available in 18 cities including: London, New York, Sydney, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Paris, Denver, Mexico City, Chicago, Barcelona, Seattle, Washington DC, Austin, Cape Town, Los Angeles, Rome, Miami and Tokyo.