[MBA] Case Study: To Pay or Not to Pay: Zagat's Dilemma

[MBA] Case Study: To Pay or Not to Pay: Zagat\'s Dilemma

1.    Evaluate Zagat using the competitive forces and value chain models.

2.    Compare Zagat's and Yelp's e-commerce business models. How have those models affected each company's Web strategy?

3.    Why was Zagat's content will suited for the Web and for the mobile digital platform?

4.    Do you think Zagat's decision to use a pay wall for its Web site was a mistake? Why or why not?

5.    Will Zagat's acquisition by Google make it more competitive? Explain your answer.



Here Zagat publishes restaurant guide with help of customers reviews. They initially published books and became the bestseller but when they emerged on web; interested customers got easier access to it but Zagat urged visitor spend few bucks for it.



Zagat e-commerce model is membership type where only authorized customers can make review. This model limited the range of customers eligible for making reivew.

Yelp used wiki type model where anyone can make entries and modifications, Yelp personnels performs required moderations.

Zagat provided high end customers whose reviews are suitable for including on hard copy books. The entries on Zagat are genuine and quality one but it had less accessibility for quick access. Zagat's articles were included on books and sold, the content published online can be seen after payment only. The content provided are more professionally researched.


Yelp site is Wiki inspired where anyone can make review and edit. It have less professionally researched. The buyer and seller are free to write entire essay on the site so that they can better describe the products.



Zagat content are professionally prepared and genuine. They are better suited for Web and mobile digital platform because



Yes, I think the decision of Zagat to keep their content inside paywall is mistake that caused Zagat possibly sweeping out of online market. People surfing web have number of alternatives when they search for some contents. If some sites keeps the content inside paywall customers are distracted and they search for some free ones. People when surf the web the main portable they go is Google. Google cannot list items inside of paywall so, reviews and contents of Zagat is beyond scope of Google bots. Moreover Zagat is not the

creator of content it lists reviews voluntarily provided by customers then Zagat's attempts to make money vain is logically infeasible.



Zagat's acquisition will two fold benefits, on Zagat and Google both side.