Restaurant Rating Systems – Zagat Ratings

Restaurant Rating Systems – Zagat Ratings

Restaurant Rating Systems – Zagat Ratings


About Zagat

Zagat Survey /zəˈɡæt/ 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 hotelsnightlifeshoppingzoosmusicmoviestheatersgolf courses, and airlines. The guides are sold in book form, and formerly as a paid subscription on its web site.

As of May 2012, as part of its acquisition by Google in September 2011, Zagat reviews and ratings became tightly integrated into Google’s services, and the site became free to use.

Our History

Started as a hobby, Zagat is the world’s original provider of user-generated content. In 1979, Nina and Tim Zagat were at a dinner party with friends. During the meal, one of the dinner guests started complaining about the restaurant reviews of a major newspaper. Everyone agreed that the paper’s reviews were unreliable.

It was at that moment Tim suggested taking a survey of their friends. This led to 200 amateur critics rating and reviewing 100 top restaurants for food, décor, service and cost. The results, printed on legal-sized paper, were an instant success with copies being scooped up all over town.

Today, Zagat surveys passionate locals about the places that matter to them most. Zagat’s curated ratings and reviews – available on all digital platforms – helps users cut through the clutter to find the perfect spot every time. Its accuracy and reliability has made Zagat a name that consumers can trust – even if they aren’t sure how to pronounce it.

With a worldwide network of passionate surveyors, that collective voice forms the foundation of Zagat’s success. The company is deeply grateful to the millions of consumers who have generously shared their experiences over the past 34 years.

Over the years, Zagat has won universal applause. The Associated Press has called Zagat “the world’s most influential travel and food guides,” and The New York Times: “a necessity second only to a valid credit card.”

In September, 2011, Zagat was acquired by Google


How Zagat Ratings and Reviews Work:

1Thousands of people share their opinions through featured surveys.
2Zagat uses the results of these surveys to create ratings and reviews.
3The ratings and reviews are then published online and in Zagat guides.
Rating system
The ratings are on a 30-point scale, made up of ratings for defined areas including food, decor, service, and cost (30 is the highest rating on the scale and 1 is the lowest). 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.

What do Zagat Ratings mean?

Regular people like you rate restaurants online. All that raw data is compiled using a special formula to create Zagat ratings, which are on a scale of 0 to 30.


26 – 30 Extraordinary to perfection
20 – 25 Very good to excellent
16 – 19 Good to very good
10 – 15 Fair to good
0 – 9 Poor to fair

Cost reflects our surveyors’ estimates of the price of a single dinner with one drink and tip.

Preview reviews represent the early verdict on notable places that have not been open long enough to be included in an active survey. The ratings and comments are drawn from customer feedback, but because these places are relatively new, the results generally reflect a limited number of responses.


Private equity firm General Atlantic bought one-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 strategy.
On September 8, 2011, the company was acquired by Google for a reported $151 million. Google planned to use the acquisition to provide more content and reviews for its locally oriented services. Google had initially planned to acquire competing site Yelp instead. On May 30, 2012, Zagat was officially integrated into Google’s services, with its reviews now appearing on Google Maps and Google+ Local pages for relevant restaurants. Additionally, the service became free to use, but now requires a Google+ account to register.
In December, 2012, Google informed most of the former Zagat employees, who had been hired as temporary contractors, that their contracts would expire as of June 30, 2013.

Zagat is the world’s first provider of user-based survey information, producing accurate ratings and curated reviews of restaurants, nightlife, shopping, hotels and other leisure-based establishments around the world. The Prince Edward Island Restaurants and Markets Survey is based on the collective opinions of 623 diners who rated and reviewed 75 local restaurants and markets. The guide will be available at local Visitor Information Centres and Island Information Service. The Prince Edward Island ratings and reviews will also be available online at and

The Zagat ratings will also be included in the restaurant and market listings in the Prince Edward Island Culinary Trail Guide, which was released today. The Culinary Trail Guide showcases the unique restaurants, farms, markets, fishers, authentic Prince Edward Island products and culinary adventures. Order your FREE Culinary Trail Guide or view it ONLINE.

The trail links tourism, agriculture and fisheries while encouraging visitors to explore rural communities in all regions of the province. It also creates organized culinary routes for visitors to discover unique Island restaurants, culinary adventures, authentic P.E.I. products, farmers, fishers, local markets, and culinary festivals and events all while experiencing our scenic coastal drives.

Did You Know?

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Zagat is the first name in restaurant rating, having started in 1975 to cover just New York eateries and growing to over 70 cities in 2005. Now, Google brings Zagat to the mobile era with Zagat, a free app for your iPhone that covers nine cities, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

– Expert-selected lists of places to go for nearly any occasion, mood, and craving
– Reviews and ratings you can trust
– Constant stream of entertaining articles and videos delivered throughout the day
– Advanced search tools to help you find exactly what you want
– Menus to read before you go
– Reservations through OpenTable

Contact Us

Zagat, 76 9th Ave., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Zagat Help Center


For immediate service call (866) 999-0991
Corporate Solutions
Phone: (800) 540-9609
Visit: Advertising