Google To Sell Zagat To The Infatuation

Google is selling Zagat to an upstart restaurant review site

7 years after acquiring the now 39-year-old restaurant review company Zagat, Google is offloading it onto The Infatuation, a young up-and-comer in the food review space that leverages branded hashtags and polished Instagram pictures to grow their readership. It's a restaurant review company and has tried their hands on developing smartphone apps, an Instagram hashtag and a texting recommendation service as parts of its path to growth.

Zagat was formerly owned by Google. It did not disclose the amount.

"Iconic brands don't become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets", Infatuation co-founder and chief executive Chris Stang said.

This was about 25 years before Yelp existed, putting Zagat well ahead of its time in the world of crowdsourced, amateur restauraunt reviews. He added, "When you think about its history and what Zagat means to so many people, it's a huge opportunity". That manner of content has become increasingly important for driving services like Google Maps, which incorporates it directly into its location services.

"Zagat has helped us provide useful and relevant dining results for users across our various products". As Google has its own, separate review system now, moving the Zagat brand to a different company is probably positive for everyone.

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. The Infatuation claims to reach some 3 million users each month and boasts a presence in cities including Austin, Chicago, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco among others. It also rolled out Text Rex, a texting recommendation service staffed by humans to recommend eateries for users' particular situations.

The company had been rumored to be courting a buyer since early this year.

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