Hospitality Hall of Honor
Tim & Nina Zagat
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|Co-Founders of Zagat Survey|
|Tim and Nina Zagat are the co-founders of Zagat Survey, the world’s leading provider of consumer survey-based dining, travel and leisure information. Tim Zagat also serves as the company’s CEO, and Nina Zagat is co-chair.|
The Zagat Survey was launched in 1979 as a hobby for Tim and Nina, who would casually survey their friends about local restaurants in New York City. Eventually, they recruited 200 amateur critics to rate restaurants, and the resulting survey was a huge hit. Before long, it developed into a full-time publishing enterprise.
Following their initial success in New York, the Zagats expanded the concept in the mid-1980s to cover dining scenes in other cities, and later added hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, car rental agencies, shopping, nightlife and even movies.
In 2000, Ernst & Young and the Harvard Business School honored the Zagats as Entrepreneurs of the Year, and they were inducted into New York University’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2001. Nina Zagat also was named one of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World by the Star Group and was on Crain’s list of Top Tech 100, featuring New York City’s most influential people in technology in 2001.
Tim Zagat has served as chairman of NYC & Company, the official marketing, promotion and tourism arm of New York City; director of the NYC Partnership and Chamber of Commerce, and a board member and vice president of the Careers in Culinary Arts Program.
In addition to her role at Zagat Survey, Nina Zagat spent 24 years as an attorney at the distinguished Wall Street law firm Shearman & Sterling. She also is a member of the corporation for the Culinary Institute of America, served on the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, and is a member of the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.
Tim received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1961, and Nina attended Vassar College and received her bachelor’s degree in 1963. Nina also attended Le Cordon Bleu Ecole de Cuisine. Both earned their law degrees at Yale Law School. They have been married since 1965 and have two sons.