Google has sold the restaurant review guide Zagat

Google has sold the restaurant review guide Zagat to The Infatuation, a food recommendation site that rose to prominence through savvy use of hashtags and tantalising Instagram photos. The Infatuation will operate Zagat, known for its burgundy guidebooks and reviews peppered with quotes from restaurant patrons, separately from its namesake site. It will expand its customer surveys and develop a new “tech-driven platform” for reviews… Google bought Zagat for $151 million in 2011 from founders Tim and Nina Zagat, the husband-and-wife team who started the business in New York in 1979 by surveying their friends about local dining… The technology group ran the company as part of its Google Maps business in an attempt to compete with online review sites such as Yelp, which has become the dominant force for recommendations on everything from food and drink to shops and services… The Infatuation, launched in 2009, is part of a new generation of digital start-ups that have used social media to build an audience with younger people. It runs dozens of Instagram and Twitter accounts focused on different cities, from New York and London to Austin and Miami, and coined the hashtag #EEEEEATS, which has been posted millions of times with photos of mouth-watering dishes… It says that its smartphone apps, social media accounts and website reaches more than 3 million people around the world every month.
Shannon Bond