Zagat faces dwindling cash, says New York Post


Tim and Nina Zagat were brilliant in 1979 when they launched their eponymous guidebooks. At first, they covered only New York restaurants, but soon expanded to cities around the world and to other categories: hotels, shopping, and the like. It was the best and most efficient way to hear the word-of-mouth of thousands of like-minded foodies; what's more, becoming quoted in the pithy reviews became a competition for some aspiring food critics. It was social media before there was such a thing.

But then came social media and restaurant reviews were an obvious place for would-be internet authorities to begin expounding. First listservs, then forums and blogs became the places for diners to find -- and give -- restaurant reviews. No longer did foodies have to wait for the annual pencil-and-paper Zagat rating form, and months longer for a new edition; they could add a comment to a Citysearch or Yelp review and have thousands of fellow netizens read their brilliant nuggets of culinary wisdom.