Dear Groupon: “Zagat-Rated” Isn’t an Honor. It’s Something a Restaurant Gets by Being Open.

Claiming that a restaurant is Zagat-rated is like saying “Hey, I got a son who goes to school, and you know what? They gave him a REPORT CARD! Wonder if the other kids got one?”

See, it’s what’s on the report card that counts. I bring this up because I see you’re running a deal for the (ahem) “Zagat-rated” Gente Ristorante, but you’re not actually showing the Zagat ratings. Kinda curious, don’t you think?  So we took a looksie and it turns out Zagat ratings for Gente are 19 for food, 16 for decor, and 21 for service. Those are all out of 30. Not too good eh? Maybe that’s why you’re boasting about the report card and not the grades?

Oh, Groupon! At it again.  

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The search giant Zagoogat (or more colloquially, Google-Zagat) incorrectly thinks that Marea on Central Park South is open on Sundays and only Sundays. That’s right. A restaurant that’s open just one day a week. That would be a heck of a gosh darn way to turn a profit. 
Rest assured, Marea is open erryday, baby. 

The search giant Zagoogat (or more colloquially, Google-Zagat) incorrectly thinks that Marea on Central Park South is open on Sundays and only Sundays. That’s right. A restaurant that’s open just one day a week. That would be a heck of a gosh darn way to turn a profit. 

Rest assured, Marea is open erryday, baby. 

Alinea is at the top of Zagat’s 2013 Chicago survey but Zagat still shows an Alinea menu from 2010. 
Why is this important? Because Alinea hasn’t offered more than a single menu for over two years. Zagat shows two menus. 
Also, Zagat shows a price of $225, while most diners will spend over $500 after wine pairings, tax and tip. In fact, with the new mandatory service charge, it’s pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to spend less than $276 at Alinea. 
Publishing incorrect menus and misleading prices for one of the most famous restaurants in America is most definitely a BAD DEAL. 

Alinea is at the top of Zagat’s 2013 Chicago survey but Zagat still shows an Alinea menu from 2010. 

Why is this important? Because Alinea hasn’t offered more than a single menu for over two years. Zagat shows two menus. 

Also, Zagat shows a price of $225, while most diners will spend over $500 after wine pairings, tax and tip. In fact, with the new mandatory service charge, it’s pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to spend less than $276 at Alinea. 

Publishing incorrect menus and misleading prices for one of the most famous restaurants in America is most definitely a BAD DEAL. 

Dear Zagat: To the best of our knowledge, and assuming “the machines” have not yet taken over, we’re pretty sure this is the year 2012. We make this point because your current prices for Manresa ($66, $80 and $110) appear to be from 2005 or thereabouts. 
David Kinch’s two Michelin-starred restaurant now charges $125 and $175 for a series of tastings. So since this menu is apparently from about six or seven years ago, we’re not surprised that you, Zagat, incorrectly list “foie gras" as a menu item, which has only been illegal in California for about a month.
As always, incorrect menu prices (and Skynet becoming self-aware) are most definitely a BAD DEAL. 

Dear Zagat: To the best of our knowledge, and assuming “the machines” have not yet taken over, we’re pretty sure this is the year 2012. We make this point because your current prices for Manresa ($66, $80 and $110) appear to be from 2005 or thereabouts

David Kinch’s two Michelin-starred restaurant now charges $125 and $175 for a series of tastings. So since this menu is apparently from about six or seven years ago, we’re not surprised that you, Zagat, incorrectly list “foie gras" as a menu item, which has only been illegal in California for about a month.

As always, incorrect menu prices (and Skynet becoming self-aware) are most definitely a BAD DEAL. 

Dear Zagat: The French Laundry doesn’t sell foie gras anymore because it’s illegal in California. We figured you might have updated the relevant menus when that law went into effect back in July. We figured wrong. 
Also: We figured you might have updated The French Laundry's pricing to $270 per person. But instead, you're incorrectly telling readers that Thomas Keller's restaurant is $240 per person, a price that's over 18 month-old. We figured wrong again. 
So is it asking too much for you to let readers know that The French Laundry is a “service included” restaurant? PROBABLY. 

Dear Zagat: The French Laundry doesn’t sell foie gras anymore because it’s illegal in California. We figured you might have updated the relevant menus when that law went into effect back in July. We figured wrong. 

Also: We figured you might have updated The French Laundry's pricing to $270 per person. But instead, you're incorrectly telling readers that Thomas Keller's restaurant is $240 per person, a price that's over 18 month-old. We figured wrong again. 

So is it asking too much for you to let readers know that The French Laundry is a “service included” restaurant? PROBABLY. 

DEAR ZAGAT! Your website says COI costs $105. But we have some information that kinda sorta contradicts that claim. Check this out: 
COI actually costs $165, if our interview with the restaurant’s chef is to be believed. However, COI did charge $155 in 2011, or $145 earlier that year, or $125 in 2009, or $115 in 2008.
In fact, if our research is accurate, the last time we saw COI’s menu at $105 was back in 2006, when George W. Bush was still our president, and when Martin Scorcese hadn’t yet won an Oscar for Best Director. 
Probably a good time to update your menu, non? 
Also, congrats to Scorcese for finally winning that Oscar in 2007. The Departed totally rocked. 

DEAR ZAGAT! Your website says COI costs $105. But we have some information that kinda sorta contradicts that claim. Check this out: 

COI actually costs $165, if our interview with the restaurant’s chef is to be believed. However, COI did charge $155 in 2011, or $145 earlier that year, or $125 in 2009, or $115 in 2008.

In fact, if our research is accurate, the last time we saw COI’s menu at $105 was back in 2006, when George W. Bush was still our president, and when Martin Scorcese hadn’t yet won an Oscar for Best Director. 

Probably a good time to update your menu, non? 

Also, congrats to Scorcese for finally winning that Oscar in 2007. The Departed totally rocked. 

DEAR ZAGAT: These prices you’re listing for Chris Kostow’s The Restaurant at Meadowood are over a year old. The tasting menus are no longer $75 and $155, but rather $225 and $500. The more expensive option includes gratuities. We reported that change back in March. 
Showing wildly inaccurate prices is most definitely a BAD DEAL. 
ALSO: August is only winter in The Southern Hemisphere. As it turns out The Restaurant at Meadowood is California, which happens to be in The Northern Hemisphere. We think. 

DEAR ZAGAT: These prices you’re listing for Chris Kostow’s The Restaurant at Meadowood are over a year old. The tasting menus are no longer $75 and $155, but rather $225 and $500. The more expensive option includes gratuities. We reported that change back in March. 

Showing wildly inaccurate prices is most definitely a BAD DEAL. 

ALSO: August is only winter in The Southern Hemisphere. As it turns out The Restaurant at Meadowood is California, which happens to be in The Northern Hemisphere. We think. 

Once upon a time, diners used to rely on Google and Zagat for accuracy. Has that time passed?
Non-curated, algorithmic-based search engines that advertise incorrect prices are most definitely, most indubitably, a BAD DEAL. 
Also, in case anyone was wondering, Torrisi hiked its prices well over a month before Google started showing Zagat data in search results. Perhaps you guys should work on your fact-checking algorithms? 

Once upon a time, diners used to rely on Google and Zagat for accuracy. Has that time passed?

Non-curated, algorithmic-based search engines that advertise incorrect prices are most definitely, most indubitably, a BAD DEAL. 

Also, in case anyone was wondering, Torrisi hiked its prices well over a month before Google started showing Zagat data in search results. Perhaps you guys should work on your fact-checking algorithms?