Zagat hasn’t been relevant since Yelp took by the people, for the people reviews into the digital age, but now the troubled brand is irrelevant in a whole new way. Google bought Zagat in 2011—that’s why its ratings show up on the right side of the screen when you search for a restaurant instead of more useful, but not Google-backed, Yelp reviews—and finally dropped a brand-new Zagat app on Monday.
Releasing a mobile site in 2013 was going to be too little, too late anyway, but BusinessWeek‘s Sam Grobart is particularly displeased with how Zagat executed its digital makeover. The problem is simple: The app simply isn’t interested in helping diners figure out where to eat, which is supposed to be the entire point of Zagat in the first place. Instead, it’s simply a smartphone-friendly format for reading listicles and articles that are often about restaurants thousands of miles away from the user.
Grobart points out that this is especially aggravating given the stiff competition any food-related app faces in a packed marketplace. Any tech-savvy diner already has and uses OpenTable and/or Yelp and/or Eater to help them find, research, and read about restaurants; why download a useless app to take up precious megabytes?
It’s a bit sad to see the once-venerable Zagat brought this low, but hey, we can always blame Google.