wisdom of the crowd
Posted by Eliza Sadler on September 20, 2010 02:00 PM
With New York Fashion Week behind us, it’s just the right time to put aside those designer duds and embrace one’s inner "foodie" with the launch of Zagat Exclusives.
Tailored to please diners and dining establishments alike, this program will provide regularly scheduled discounts for a limited time, delivered by email, at Zagat-Rated restaurants in New York City, and will soon be rolled out in other major metropolitan areas.
"Zagat is harnessing the increasingly popular group buying model to provide the best possible deals for our customers and restaurateurs," said Tim Zagat, CEO, Zagat Survey. The program, which is powered by Groupon competitor DealOn, offered $30 off a three-course meal at Manhattan's famed “21” Club for its first promotion. This move signifies a bold effort by Zagat to follow Yelp and OpenTable into the highly competitive dining-discount game.
And what makes Zagat Exclusives different or even better than such sites? The answer lies in the perpetual decline in the Zagat price as more people buy in. The lowest price reached at the end of the sale period will be the amount all people will pay. So while you may originally agree to pay $75 for a deal at “21” Club, you may end up paying significantly less.
Aside from its unique discount offering, Zagat is looking to leverage its trusted ratings service to provide people with more reassurance over questionable restaurants from OpenTable and or unreliable consumer reviews from Yelp. It's also a natural tie-in for its award-winning Zagat to Go mobile offering, which recently intergrated Foursquare check-ins (above).
With this promising program, it looks probable that Zagat will assert itself as a real player in the group-buying restaurant space. But regardless, we’ve got something to smile about – an opportunity to inexpensively dine out, in style, in the Big Apple. —Eliza Sadler, New York