(, rhymes with "the cat") was established by Tim
and Nina Zagat
in 1979 as a way to collect and correlate the ratings of restaurants
by diners. For their first guide, covering New York City
, the Zagats surveyed their friends. As of 2005, the Zagat Survey included 70 cities, with reviews based on the input of 250,000 individuals reporting over the years. In addition to restaurants, Zagat guides rate hotels
, golf courses
. The guides are sold in book
form, as software
for personal digital assistants
and mobile phones
, and by paid subscription on the Web
The ratings are on a 30-point scale, made up of ratings for defined areas including food, decor, service, and cost. In addition to numeric scores, the survey also includes a short descriptive paragraph that incorporates selected quotations (typically a few words) from several reviewers' comments about each restaurant or service, as well as typical pricing and other information.
firm General Atlantic
bought a third of parent company Zagat, LLC for $31 million in February 2000 and installed non-Zagat family member Amy B. McIntosh as CEO.
In 2008, the company was on the block for $200 million. After there were no takers, the company announced in June that it was no longer for sale and that it would seek an organic growth