Zagat Gets In Bed With Google; Restaurants To Implement Fingerprinting

 

Well, the big news this morning, of course, is the acquisition of Zagat by search engine behemoth (and rather scattered) Google. According to the New York Times, Google “has agreed to buy” Zagat, with terms and pricing not yet released to the public. Zagat, a long-established restaurant review guide, started reaching out for a buyer back in 2008, and has worked to try to keep up with the ever-changing restaurant review terrain, beefing up its website and social media presence as much as possible over the past few years. The new development will certainly aide in the growth of both brands, and it’ll be interesting to see how Zagat fits into the Google mecca.

Other food news on my radar…

Super interesting to read that certain restaurants, namely and most recently the Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation, owner of 122 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants around the country, are implementing “fingerprint biometrics” into their POS software. In a recent press release, Garden Fresh offers that the move is to “provide employee accountability and reduce unauthorized discounts and overrides.”

“Our fingerprint biometrics provides restaurant chains like Garden Fresh a fast and simple way to decrease inventory shrink and enhance employee accountability,” said Jim Fulton, vice president of marketing at DigitalPersona. “And, as the most widely available biometric solution in the POS industry, DigitalPersona makes it easy for restaurateurs and retailers to reap the benefits and immediate ROI of biometrics on top of their existing systems.”

And finally, it’s a bit surprising to see that yet another batch of culinary grads are suing their school for “misleading statements” regarding post-grad job placement and salary. Portland’s Le Cordon Bleu was the first to appear on the lawsuit radar when a handful of students brought a lawsuit claiming much the same in late 2009.

According to the Associated Press, the latest lawsuit involves the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. In the $40 million settlement, however, Career Education, the parent company of Le Cordon Bleu and the Culinary Academy, has agreed to “offer rebates up to $20,000 to 8,500 students who attended the academy between 2003 and 2008.”

While I’m totally sympathetic to all students out there, culinary or not, struggling to find jobs in the career paths they’ve chosen, I think it’s a bit naive to assume that a degree in any field will guarantee you a position. I only wonder how long it will take before a bevy of art history majors form a lawsuit against your average four-year state college for misleading career advice.

~Jennifer Heigl