Google bought Zagat 5 years ago in a bid to take on Yelp, but so far the latter remains more popular. But now Google iss relaunching a core aspect of the food guide in order to better fit modern standards of restaurant reviews.
Basically Zagat’s iconic 30-point scoring system is dead. The reason, as you can expect, is that it was apparently too complicated, especially when nearly every other service uses a five-point system.
Some people will definitely find the change vexing, as the beauty of Zagat’s system is that you can easily differentiate between various factors depending on how much each of those things matter to you. With generic 5-point rating systems like Yelp uses, you only have a vague sense of what a restaurant experience will be like.
It’s not all bad news for Zagat fans though. Restaurants are still being rated on the categories of food, decor, service and price, so it keeps that asset over other food ranking tools. Moreover, Google says Zagat will now use decimal points when it needs the added precision. However, the price system has been simplified to a set of dollar signs, like Yelp.
Fans will complain, but the change is understandable; the five-point system is just a bit easier to understand at a glance, especially when comparing with other sources. All new reviews will use the five-point scale, and all old Zagat ratings are being re-calculated using the new system starting today.