Google to Sell Zagat Restaurant Guide to Online Upstart The Infatuation

March 5, 2018, 7:44 PM UTC

Google is selling its Zagat restaurant guide to foodie upstart The Infatuation.

The Infatuation revealed on Monday that it would buy Zagat, but did not disclose the price. Reuters first reported that Google was looking to sell Zagat in January.

“We’re thrilled by this opportunity to acquire such a pioneering and trusted restaurant guide as Zagat,” The Infatuation CEO Chris Stang said in a statement. “Iconic brands don’t become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets. It is the perfect complement to what we have been building at The Infatuation.”

When it bought Zagat in 2011 for $151 million, Google was pushing to become an online hub for finding local restaurants and businesses. Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced the deal when she was in charge of Google’s Maps service and said that Zagat would be the “cornerstone of our local offering.”

Since then, however, Google (GOOG) has placed less importance on Zagat in favor of emphasizing its own army of contributors known as Local Guides, who submit restaurant reviews that populate Google Maps and search, as tech publication Search Engine Land notes.

Meanwhile, New York City based The Infatuation has grown to be a sort of modern-day version of Zagat, for an era in which people hunt for restaurant recommendations on their smartphones, not in physical books.

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The startup said that Zagat would operate as an independent brand that it would introduce to “its highly engaged, millennial audience.” Now The Infatuation has two restaurant guides: one for its audience of younger adults, and one for an older generation.

“Zagat has helped us provide useful and relevant dining results for users across our various products,” Google vice president of product and engineering Jen Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “The Infatuation is an innovative company that will be a terrific home for the Zagat brand.”

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