Google has sold restaurant review guide Zagat to The Infatuation website.

Chris Stang, co-founder and chief executive of The Infatuation, said the company was “thrilled by this opportunity to acquire such a pioneering and trusted restaurant guide”.

Google bought Zagat for $151m in 2011 from founders Tim and Nina Zagat, the husband-and-wife team who started the business in New York in 1979 by surveying their friends about local dining.

Google ran the company as part of its Google Maps business in an attempt to compete with online review sites such as Yelp.

“Zagat has helped us provide useful and relevant dining results for users across our various products,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, vice-president of product and engineering at Google. “The Infatuation is an innovative company that will be a terrific home for the Zagat brand.”

The Infatuation, launched in 2009, is part of a new generation of digital start-ups that have used social media to build an audience with younger people.

It runs dozens of Instagram and Twitter accounts focused on different cities, from New York and London to Austin and Miami, and coined the hashtag #EEEEEATS.

Zagat’s co-founders said they were “excited” about the company’s new ownership. “Their innovative approach, and their passion for helping people discover great restaurants and for building community lines up exactly with what we built with Zagat from the very beginning,” they said.