Dishing Content on Multiple Platforms
Zagat: Zagat Survey ratings and reviews have been the principal source of restaurant information available online since the late 1980’s on Prodigy, CompuServe, AOL, Sidewalk, Travelocity, Pactel, USWest, Ameritech and Pathfinder. In addition, Zagat has partnered with Microsoft, Apple, Sony and NewsCorp to provide electronic products. Zagat has worked with NTT DoCoMo in connection with its i-mode, and most recently has worked with Handmark in developing software for a variety of mobile devices and cell phones. Zagat Survey content is available online at www.Zagat.com, where users can access more than 30,000 reviews, voice their opinions, and execute related transactions. Zagat.com was launched in 1999 and is one of the few profitable restaurant guide Web sites. Nina [Zagat] has been very influential in keeping Zagat.com up to speed in the digital marketplace.
How have you adapted your business strategy in an era much different than when you started in 1979 now that people are increasingly going online to obtain information from other sources?
Zagat: In some respects the Internet Age has saved us considerable amounts of money. For example, our surveys used to be on paper and mailed out to people who requested them. Today, we have our reviewers take our surveys online, eliminating the cost of paper, envelopes and stamps (which has certainly gone up since 1979) as well as saving hundreds if not thousands of man hours in tallying up the results of the surveys. Without the technological advances we’ve made, and with more than 250,000 surveyors worldwide, the cost for us to mail our surveys out (just the cost of stamps) today would be more than $92,000 a year.
Our business strategy has been to provide Zagat.com users with as much if not more information that they can get elsewhere. Menus, editorials, ratings/reviews of restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. We’d like to consider ourselves a one-stop shop of sorts. People can get information about a particular business (restaurant or otherwise), take a look at the menu ahead of time and then, with our new user review capabilities, come back after dinner and write a full review of the experience.