Zagat’s Grand Reopening
New owner The Infatuation has begun cooking up plans.
The Zagat site remains largely unchanged after being acquired by The Infatuation last March, with Google ratings— pumped in through an outside application—appearing alongside existing Zagat reviews. The Infatuation CEO, Chris Stang, expects to release a new platform for “communitydriven content” by the end of 2019, and says that he and his team are currently testing the format and rating system for reviews internally. In the meantime, the company is experimenting with ways to apply Zagat’s heavily quote-driven restaurant reviews to Instagram. Currently, geotags can alert editors to where diners are posting from, and then editors can “re-gram,” layering user comments beneath related food pics. It’s also looking back to the company’s roots. “I was joking with [Tim and Nina, saying], ‘You were basically building an app but on paper, a useful tool that could be in your pocket at all times, and it worked,’ ” Stang says. “Their approach to the guides is right. Yes, we live in a much different time now, where everything is on these supercomputers in our pockets. [But] there’s still an audience that wants something tangible, that they can hold on to. Andrew and I can tell you [this from our] experience in the music business. Just look at vinyl.”