Google’s Zagat Dishes Up a Fresh App, Ditching 30-Point Scale

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Source: Zagat
  • Mobile update to launch on Apple’s iOS first, then Android
  • Simplified rankings cater to users’ preference for simplicity

Zagat, the restaurant guide known for including quotes from customers, is getting rid of its classic 30-point rating scale in favor of a more streamlined system that will incorporate Google Maps and Search into a redesigned, more personal mobile app. 

From now on, reviews will be based on a five-tier system, ranking restaurants on a scale from “poor” to “perfection,” instead of asking diners to differentiate between a rating of 21 or 22 in multiple categories. The new app, available first on Apple Inc.’s iOS, will have a sleeker design that reflects the sparse simplicity of Google, which bought the dining guide in 2011 for $151 million. The changes will also put Zagat in line with competing digital reviewers like Yelp Inc. and TripAdvisor Inc.

“We thought it was time to cook up an update to our iOS app to provide our foodie fans with the freshest, most relevant content -- while on the go,” according to a Zagat blog post Tuesday.

The popular Zagat guide started as a New York-based newsletter more than 35 years ago, and became well-known for its narrow, burgundy book, eventually expanding to many other major U.S. cities and even London and Toronto. But after surveying customers, Zagat found that many of them preferred a more straightforward style. With Google’s smarts, the new app will now cover the entire U.S., with “deep dives” in about 40 cities.

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