Perhaps the most iconic of all dining guides, Zagat will be sold by Google after seven years under the tech behemoth. Per the New York Times, Google will give up the brand to a restaurant review company called The Infatuation after purchasing it for $151 million in 2011. The sale was announced by The Infatuation on Monday. A purchase price was not disclosed. “We’re thrilled by this opportunity to acquire such a pioneering and trusted restaurant guide as Zagat,” said Chris Stang, The Infatuation’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Iconic brands don’t become available very often, and Zagat is about as iconic as it gets." Since its founding by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979 as a compilation of opinions about New York City restaurants by their own friends, Zagat has grown to become synonymous with restaurant reviews in cities across America and beyond.
Now, Zagat will be in the hands of a 9-year-old company geared toward a Millenial audience whose brand loyalties have been forged in the digital age. Instead of looking to merge one brand into the other, The Infatuation says it plans to keep the brands distinct. "The Infatuation will retain its editorial-first focus," reads The Infatuation's press release. "Zagat will expand user surveys and develop a new tech-driven platform that will create a stronger, more meaningful alternative to other crowdsourced restaurant reviews." 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.