Tribal + Zagat

This post refers to the September 15th Smoke Signals Report from the Tribal DDB Worldwide Network

All quotes are from the aforementioned article.

Big news last week when it was announced that Google had acquired Zagat. Zagat has been around for quite some time and has become a well-respected name in the restaurant rating industry. Zagat ratings have been known to boost or bust restaurants.

“Zagat collects user opinions about restaurants, aggregates them and creates a valuable dataset that it can turn around and sell to others. Google intends to make Zagat the cornerstone of its local offering, adding another layer of sophistication and value to Google Place pages and all other Google location services. Given Google’s other recent product unveilings such as Google Offers, the purchase of Zagat seems like a great tool to position Google to compete with some of today’s daily deal businesses such as Groupon and Living Social.”

With Google making a serious play in the mobile location-based services realm with Zagat, one has to wonder where the Caribbean ‘Zagat’ is? A local or regional body that does what Zagat does can provide a truly unique and powerful resource for foreigners and locals alike. This would also hold restaurants accountable for poor service, food, ambience or a combination. With respect to Trinidad, while most businesses attempt to provide pleasant and professional service staff it is often hard to find those staff members which make good customer service the norm.

If there were an independent body which helped rate these restaurants publicly it would encourage a higher standard of quality regionally. When it comes to the Caribbean our cuisine is truly unique, while it has been born out of many other cultures influences over the years we have adapted and made it our own. This should encourage us even more to have a rating system which stands on its own.

Not only is it a great move for Restaurants to be rated highly, the marketing potential is tremendous.From the marketing aspect it will provide a forum where people looking for food and restaurant advice would go to, and therefore be an ideal place for advertisement. In the US, a great rating from Zagat is akin to a Blue Ribbon, it often means greater business for the restaurant, and in an economy like this, who doesn’t want more business?

Best

Robert

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