Skip to content
Subscriber Only

How Google Has Completely Botched Zagat

Google bought Zagat, the guide to restaurants around the country, in 2011
Google bought Zagat, the guide to restaurants around the country, in 2011Photograph by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times via Redux

Since being acquired by Google in 2011 for $125 million, Zagat has been in turnaround. That changed Monday when Google reintroduced Zagat to the world as a free site and mobile app for Android and iOS. But today the world needs another restaurant app like it needs another 11-course tasting menu. I currently have six dining-related apps on my phone—already more than I need. Do I really need another?

It’s a tough sell to begin with, and the Zagat app lost me at the welcome screen. It opens with tiles of dining stories like “Post Exhibition Eats: Great Restaurants Near the Met” and “Behind the Top-Rated Sushi at Austin’s Uchi.