ZAGAT Surveys, recognizable by their burgundy covers, have become best-sellers, with over 100,000 participants rating and reviewing restaurants in more than 40 major U.S. and foreign cities.
In contrast to other guides, the ZAGAT Surveys separately rate the distinct qualities of a restaurant (food, decor, and service) or of a hotel (rooms, service, dining, and public facilities) while providing an estimate of average cost. Rather than being judged on one person’s taste and one or two visits, each restaurant or hotel is judged on the basis of hundreds or even thousands of experiences: the ratings reflect an average of all votes tallied for a given restaurant or hotel, while quotations selected from an extensive pool of Surveyor comments make up the substance of the reviews. ZAGAT Surveys include a 0 to 30 (“poor” to “perfect”) numerical rating system, extensive indexing and lists of top-rated establishments in various categories.
Thus, the Surveys represent the best imaginable source of travel and dining information – the “organized word-of-mouth” of sophisticated consumers. No other guidebooks boast the vast pool of knowledgeable consumer-opinion resources from which ZAGAT draws its reviews and ratings.
Partisans call this “family-owned” SLO favorite a “consistent” provider of “delicious” Italian fare in a “charming spot that’s worth a detour” (it’s “hard to find but worth it”); it’s “unpretentious” with “friendly” service to boot, placing it among the “best places to eat after a long day of wine-tasting.” (text from zagat.com)