Welcome to Zagat Survey, A New Publisher Partner

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Tim and Nina Zagat

Zagat Survey, launched nearly 30 years ago as the hobby of two New York lawyers and dedicated diners, Tim and Nina Zagat (rhymes with "the cat"), is one of the Book Sense program's newest Publisher Partners. Zagat offers guides to dining for more than 70 major markets, as well as guides for hotels, resorts and spas, family travel, entertaining, shopping, nightlife, movies, music, theater, and golf. The company is also expanding into travel with a "Best of" guides series.

"For 28 years Zagat Survey has been providing consumers with the information and inspiration about the best places to Eat, Drink, Stay & Play in hundreds of cities around the globe," said Zagat Vice President of Marketing John Boris. "Each year we continue to add new titles and improve our guides and content to better serve locals and travelers."

The Zagats, who met at Yale Law School, thought that the measure of a restaurant would be better taken by a "wisdom of crowds" approach rather a recommendation from a single reviewer. So the couple created a restaurant evaluation survey using about 100 of their friends as voters, and gave away copies of the results. In 1979, they sold the first Zagat NYC Restaurant Survey by going from bookstore to bookstore. Now Zagat Survey has 250,000 voters participating worldwide. Both Tim and Nina Zagat continue to take an active role in the day-to-day operations.

The publisher continues to capitalize on the same popular survey style, but has updated features and expanded its guides. "For example," said Boris, "in 2007 we made significant changes to the book and added foldout color maps, neighborhood maps, stick-on bookmarks, two-color interior design, easier-to-read color icons, a new cover design.  Plus, we actually increased the size of the book by making a quarter of an inch wider for easier reading."

New titles include the Zagat Walt Disney World Insider's Guide, which covers dining and nightlife as well as evaluations of rides and strategies to shorten waits. This type of guide was a new direction for the publisher, explained Boris. "Not only was this title a first for us in that it covered various categories for a specific theme park (attractions, dining, nightlife, shopping, hotels, golf, etc.), but, it was our first guide to incorporate 16-pages of color photos, five foldout color maps, special Disney stick-on bookmarks, and, of course, our trademark Zagat ratings and reviews."

The company plans on further broadening the scope of its publishing program with its "Best of" series, designed to appeal to both travelers and locals. "These guides include a selection of the best places to Eat, Drink, Stay & Play in various cities," noted Boris. "To date, we have 'Best of' guides for New Orleans, London, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Las Vegas (December 2007). In addition to expanding our 'Best of' series, we are looking into various print guide formats to accommodate the weekend travelers."

The latest edition of the Zagat New York City Restaurants, the first and most popular guide, will be released October 10. The updated edition includes a new cover, a foldout map, stick-on bookmarks, and more than 2,050 restaurants. For more information, contact Zagat's Trade Sales Department at (866) 999-0991. --Karen Schechner