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Zagat Survey, Urbanspoon team up to offer mobile reviews

The deal will make Zagat reviews prominent on Urbanspoon for users. The Urbanspoon app is available on iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices and through a mobile site.

“As we have moved into reservation-based services, it makes sense that Urbanspoon starts using more reviews from other sources,” said Conrad Saam, director of marketing at Urbanspoon, Seattle.

“We’ve always had critic review on the app, but never Zagat, which is historically the most well-known review source,” he said.

Urbanspoon is an online restaurant guide that gives consumers restaurant recommendations in four countries, including more than seventy cities in the United States.

Zagat is a provider of user-generated reviews that covers hotels, restaurants, movies, nightlife, music and shopping.

User-generated content
The Urbanspoon deal will make more than 25,000 Zagat reviews available for Urbanspoon users.

In particular, this deal will focus on local restaurants.

“Finding restaurants with your phone when you’re out walking around shows the way that consumer behavior has changed over the past few years,” Mr. Saam said. “Calling in for reservations has become a thing of the past.”

“People love hearing what other people have to say about restaurants,” he said.

“We try to find the most accurate restaurant review for our users, whether it’s from a local source or a critical review.”

Additionally, users can view a micro-review below each restaurant’s listing for a quick glance at each restaurant.

Zagat is the latest company to spread its reviews on Urbanspoon.

The company also aggregates reviews from companies including the New York Times, City Search and local publications.

Munch on mobile
Urbanspoon and Zagat are the latest acquisitions to the growing field of mobile dining.

In particular, the mobile business with fast casual dining has skyrocketed recently with companies such as Seamless, Aislebuyer and Snapfinger seeing a huge demand for mobile ordering (see story).

In addition to mobile ordering, mobile dining and reservations have also boomed and will become a prominent part of the dining experience, per Mr. Saam.

“There are a huge number of players getting into mobile restaurant space,” Mr. Saam said.

“By adding reviews and features that users are looking for, I think we’ll see a boost in mobile dining over the next 18 months,” he said. “We’re only now at the beginning of the curve.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily