Google Pays $125M to Dine With Zagat

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The restaurant review company was founded by Tim and Nina Zagat more than 32 years ago, and has since established itself as a trusted brand all over the world over. It operates in 13 categories and more than 100 cities.

The Zagats confirmed the acquisition on their company’s Web site and noted that they believe the union is the right next step for their employees, users and for their business. They said all will benefit from the additional resources and reach that Google provides.

“Going forward, we will remain active in the business as co-Chairs, helping to ensure that the combination of Zagat’s and Google’s assets and capabilities will maximize our product quality and growth,” the couple wrote.

Mayer said the Zagats have demonstrated their ability to innovate and to do so with tremendous insight.

“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, she wrote on the blog.

She added that the company’s iconic pocket-sized guides with paragraphs summarizing and “snippeting” sentiment were “mobile” before “mobile” involved electronics.

“Today, Zagat provides people with a democratized, authentic and comprehensive view of where to eat, drink, stay, shop and play worldwide based on millions of reviews and ratings,” she wrote. “For all of these reasons, I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with Zagat to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trusted reputation and wealth of experience to our users.”

Before the acquisition, Mayer said about two years ago friend asked her if she knew there’s a place in Menlo Park near the Safeway that has a 27 food rating.

“I was struck because I immediately knew what it meant. Food rating… 30 point scale… Zagat. And the place… had to be good. With no other context, I instantly recognized and trusted Zagat’s review and recommendation,” Mayer wrote.

“BTW, Kaygetsu, the place in Menlo Park, definitely lives up to its 27 food rating!” she wrote.

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