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Zagat's: How to get in?


Lreda
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The only thing which might make a "major" story of it, is if there was some provable pattern of money changing hands in return for Zagat noticing them, and that would be going a bit further on a dirt-digging expedition than has already been suggested.  And it STILL wouldn't affect their sales or the "value" of those stupid red signs much, I'll bet.

I would think that John Stossel and his 20/20 segment would be a good avenue for this type of article. I don’t see it as a main story. More of a public interest or minor expose.

I would hope that most people take Zagat’s with a grain of salt if at all. I find the hotel concierge to be a better source of information. For that mater ask here as people seem to from time-to-time.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I would hope that most people take Zagat’s with a grain of salt if at all. I find the hotel concierge to be a better source of information. For that mater ask here as people seem to from time-to-time.

Most due take it with a grain of salt, the people that are foodies, but Zagat's IS a major source of information that is published and used as a guide mostly for out-of-towners and people unsure where to eat and don't have access to websites such as this.

I am seriously think of contacting local stations and newspapers in NY & NJ

Ex. Ask Asa

Channels 9,11 &12

I mean if Channel 2 is going to have in May, special reports every year during sweeps week, stories on Board of Health reports and unsafe meat maybe they would be interested in a major publication that might be suspicious.

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The interesting news story would occur if a group of serious restaurateurs had the courage to take their complaints about Zagat public, instead of always insisting that they be treated as off-the-record or "background." And that's not likely to happen -- restaurateurs are very risk-averse when it comes to PR.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I mean if Channel 2 is going to have in May, special reports every year during sweeps week, stories on Board of Health reports and unsafe meat maybe they would be interested in a major publication that might be suspicious.

You might want to try FOX 5 Or WPIX 11; if memory serves they are more likely to do that sort of story. I guess it would be in how you phrase the pitch. I would also think that the Montclair Times and Ledger might be good print avenues.

I can understand the frustration you feel. Hard to get the added recognition and advertising without looking like you have a case of sour grapes. “Foodies”, dose anyone actually own up to that title? I think of it in a derogatory sense. But if it means income…

:unsure:

Living hard will take its toll...
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Out of curiosity . . .

Any demographic stuff available on the average Zagat reader?

I guess I'm wondering if that type of person would tend to wander from restaurant to restaurant or if they would tend to become regulars? If they become regulars, what's their average check? And so on.

In other words, are Zagat readers worth the effort & expensive to market to?

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The interesting news story would occur if a group of serious restaurateurs had the courage to take their complaints about Zagat public, instead of always insisting that they be treated as off-the-record or "background." And that's not likely to happen -- restaurateurs are very risk-averse when it comes to PR.

I've got no problems going on-the-record. Zagat's hasn't done me any good after 9 years so why should I worry about offending Zagat's. I am actually going to contact people I know, some affiliated with news groups and attempt to pursue this. Besides, here on egullet I don't hide behind a synomum. As a restaurant owner and chef I have always stood behind my food, whether the critisims were flattering or underwheming.

Before 2 days ago I never thought there was a specific reason why I couldn't make Zagat's.

Now I have doubts and will look into it.

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You might want to try FOX 5 Or WPIX 11; if memory serves they are more likely to do that sort of story.

Yes, they do. And often as not they spin it into a soft color piece instead of a hard news story. With a tag like "local restauranters are UP IN ARMS because they say they are being mistreated by a major food review organization". Then they'd simply show an interview with any restauranter willing to be on camera, give an obligatory chance for a Zagat rep to say "we will look into this", and do no actual investigative work (record checking, searching out other restaurant owners, insisting on talking to anyone at Zagat except for a PR flack).

Its SOP for these so-called "news" organizations.

Channel 2 occasionally does something harder hitting. Occasionally.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Out of curiosity.......

Does anyone think that RestaurantEdge should do a restaurant guide?

Afterall, I've been asked. However, the amount of work that would go into to it would be astounding.

I'm willing to create such a beast if people would help me do it.

Currently, we link out to other guides available. Which sucks if you think about it.

Any ideas?

Eric

RestaurantEdge.com

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These are deep, deep waters, friends. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

My capsule review of the Zagats:

"Some say a compendium of arbitrarily selected commentary from cat-loving would-be wordsmiths and a useful listing of addresses and telephone numbers. Others remark that these two make them yearn for the good old days of the Gambinos."

abourdain

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These are deep, deep waters, friends. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

My capsule review of the Zagats:

"Some say a compendium of arbitrarily selected commentary from cat-loving would-be wordsmiths and a useful  listing of addresses and telephone numbers. Others remark that these two make them yearn for the good old days of the Gambinos."

Zenmaster help us.

Who are you reponding to? Restaurant edge hoping to put his/her mark on the culinary world or a guy who's hoping to keep together the pieces of his personal kingdom? If the guy trying to hold his own in the suburbs and leaving late, Thank you.

I have already given up any hope in being in Zagat's at this point in questioning the verasity (sic, much wine after a 1:30 closing )

There are three answers to the question. Mine, the survey and The truth.

depends on which side you're on.

It disturbs me to have this thought as a loyal conservative but who brought down Nixon? Reporters like Woodward and Burnstein. Whores, but good reporters.

Perhaps it is time to question Zagat's as a publication.

Worst case senario: Maybe you can give me a job on the line or I can drift along the California coast along the way from SF to Monterey.

Appriciate the concern though.

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But it's not a survey. ( Preposition starting a sentence, oh well)

It's a restaurant listing which is both national and international. If you own a restaurant it certainly bodes well to bbe listed. This is my only objective.

Listed as follows and I'll shut the fuck up:

An American Grill

246 Rt 10 West

Randolph, NJ 07950

Everyone else fill in the blanks.

I'm done, Peace out.

Word.

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I've met Tim and Nina at my place of work on several occasions, and am convinced they are bent on total world domination!

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

blog

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Hate to get political but Zagat is now in the realm of the powerful. Very difficult to take to task. Basically as indestructible as oil companies, Halliburton, Bechtel, Murdoch, and others from the all-powerful.

Maybe you will eventually get a blurb on Channel 2 (New York), but that will be as far reaching as the story 2 weeks ago about filthy conditions at the food areas of Warehouse Stores. After 2-3 days, nobody remembers.

We need one of the Zagats to get caught with an intern-- that story would last!!

Edited by menton1 (log)
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Hate to get political but Zagat is now in the realm of the powerful.  Very difficult to take to task.  Basically as indestructible as oil companies, Halliburton, Bechtel, Murdoch, and others from the all-powerful. 

Maybe you will eventually get a blurb on Channel 2 (New York), but that will be as far reaching as the story 2 weeks ago about filthy conditions at the food areas of Warehouse Stores.  After 2-3 days, nobody remembers. 

We need one of the Zagats to get caught with an intern-- that story would last!!

In a way, more powerful, because the favors owed to them are less traceable--more subtle.

And yes, its been my theme that part of this "untouchability" will no doubt come from the fact that either they wouldn't be seen as newsworthy, or they simply wouldn't float to the top of the public's attention barrel for very long, because the implications of their influence are again, so subtle.

Not to mention, there's so little you can prove. So restaurants hang up signs simply stating that they are in the guide? So what, Zagat could argue, we aren't telling anyone in the public how to interpret that. So the selection process of which restaurants are mentioned and which aren't isn't exactly crystal clear? It's a complicated process, they'd say, but of course there are oversights. We'll get right on it!

Money has to change hands, people have to get naked, or somebody has to die. No, not really, but that's really the only way this would last more than 30 seconds as a story.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Money has to change hands, people have to get naked, or somebody has to die.  No, not really, but that's really the only way this would last more than 30 seconds as a story.

Very poignantly said-- this is sad, but true.

I was reading the newspaper the other day, on the left side page was the big story of the federal tax cut, and how it passed and was signed into law; on the right side was a story of the layoff of 6000 employees of the new Federal Airport Screeners that were just hired a few months ago, because of lack of funds. What good is an extra 100 bucks if our airport security is compromised? (Of course, this story was buried on page 9.)

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Any demographic stuff available on the average Zagat reader?

In the Los Angeles guide, California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory generally duke it out for most visited restaurant. And they make the list of 50 most popular.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Any demographic stuff available on the average Zagat reader?

In the Los Angeles guide, California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory generally duke it out for most visited restaurant. And they make the list of 50 most popular.

Of course, money is money.

But are the folks that hollywood mentions really the folks that eGullet reading chefs want to market to? Would they show up even if you overwhelmed them with marketing?

But what do I know? I've never looked at a Zagat guide & I've no plans to.

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But it's not a survey. ( Preposition starting a sentence, oh well)

It's a restaurant listing which is both national and international. If you own a restaurant it certainly bodes well to bbe listed. This is my only objective.

Listed as follows and I'll shut the fuck up:

An American Grill

246 Rt 10 West

Randolph, NJ 07950

Everyone else fill in the blanks.

I'm done, Peace out.

Word.

You should just send a written invitation to the local editor of the New Jersey volume and see what happens.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Lreda and others: What about contacting a newspaper? If not the New York Times, perhaps the Daily News would take this on. They seem pretty good about exposes. Try it.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Just a note of irony but yesterday I opened my mail and found my complimentary copy of Zagat's for filling out my survey. I've also had a dozen people who know my difficulty getting in call me after recieving their copies for filling out the survey.

I emailed Zagat's at zagat@zagat.com to voice my displeasure and will wait shortly for a response as I ponder what to do next.

Lou

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I emailed Zagat's at zagat@zagat.com to voice my displeasure and will wait shortly for a response as I ponder what to do next.

you could start a website devoted to hating and talking about zagats. :blink:

http://IHateTimAndNina.blogspot.com ???

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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