It is said that the toughest decision to make when in a relationship is not about property investment or the number of children in the family, but rather deciding where to eat. With the luxury of living in food heaven we fondly call Malaysia and new eateries popping up every corner faster than we can say "Sudah Makan?!", it has become increasingly tricky to identify good restaurants apart from the mediocre ones. After all, life is too short for crappy food, right? Zomato is here to help you identify the yummy for the tummy.
What is Zomato?
Zomato is a restaurant search and discovery platform. They like to think of themselves as a platform which is more of Google for restaurants. If you are hungry and are exploring your options to eat out - Zomato could help you with comprehensive information to make your decision faster.
Some people look at pictures of a restaurant, some prefer to search the menu as it tells them what to expect and gives them an idea what their bill might look like, some folks like to read reviews or see ratings while there are many folks who need the facts about a restaurant; like the exact location, what time it opens or closes, the exact cuisine it serves, halal or serves pork or is there Wi-Fi or not! At the end of the day, users seek information so that they end up having a good meal and experience. What Zomato is trying to do through its platform, is for people to never have a bad meal :)
This in turn helps restaurants to get visibility to a very targeted audience. Their primary revenue model is based on hyperlocal advertising on their website and mobile apps. With over 80 million monthly visits globally, Zomato is a highly targeted platform for restaurant owners to market their product to customers who are looking to dine-in the next 45 minutes of searching.
What Makes Zomato So Special?
Zomato's core content features include both user generated reviews as well as Zomato's own curated information. This includes scanned menus, photos and geocoded coordinates for restaurants; users can rate and review restaurants, as well as create their own network of foodies to get personalized recommendations. Zomato updates it's listings on a very regular basis through a feet-on-street approach, thereby offering the end user highly accurate information.
For business owners, Zomato acts as a highly targeted advertising platform, making it convenient for restaurateurs to interact effectively with customers searching for dining options.
Zomato’s core content features for users include:
- Scanned menus, photos and geo-coded coordinates for restaurants - sourced by the massive effort put by Zomato’s feet-on-street teams
- Curated Collections for each city, including ‘Trending this Week’, ‘Food Trucks’, ‘Great Coffee places’, 'Spots to watch football with buddies' and lots more
- Leaderboards and Foodie rankings that help recognise the most prolific contributors in a city
- ‘Spoonbacks’ - which enable bloggers to seamlessly publish the excerpt of their reviews from their blog to Zomato
- Inspiration from fellow foodies in the form of a feed which shows you where your friends and people you follow are eating
- A personalised Food Journey in the form of a timeline, which helps you keep track of all the places you eat at, with chronologically sorted reviews, bookmarks for your favorite restaurants, photos etc
- Use of a bunch of interesting filters - such as Open Now (which tells you which restaurants are open in the current time)
- On the mobile app, one can draw a circle on the map using our feature. This highlights the restaurants in the area you draw the circle around. Can surely help one discover new places in the route home
Setting Foot In Malaysia
Zomato is confident of the product-market fit in Malaysia, and they are sure Zomato will soon become a household name here. The Internet penetration in Malaysia is ~67% of the population of 30 million. Food discovery is only second nature here; Zomato most certainly intends to conquer that space.
Malaysia is an important market. Given the response they have had in their other markets in SEA - Indonesia and the Philippines, they are positive that the growth here in Malaysia will be phenomenal as well.
They feel this is a great time for Zomato to be in the market. They can tell that their product is apt for the food scene in Malaysia. It has a great food reputation globally and a really strong foodie community. What Zomato see in the scene is a culturally rich and diverse audience who know and love their food, dine out often and share their experiences on social media. There are a lot of opinion leaders in the blogging space as well who are welcoming the use of interesting and relevant platforms to discover food, which is great sign of encouragement for Zomato.
Currently they have ~14,400 restaurants listed across Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. The immediate plan going forward is to create more curated relevant content across Klang Valley, build a strong user engagement platform and help restaurants in growing their business. Further expansions to Penang, Perak, Johor and Melaka are in the road map.
Impacting The Way Malaysians Have Their Meals
In short it would be for people to never have a bad meal.
1) Helping people discover great places around them
Zomato wants to equip people with comprehensive information to help them decide on where and what they want to eat, how to make their dining experience simpler and convenient. Their teams gather information from every restaurant in the city on a 45-60 day cycle - to ensure that their data is fresh. Zomato's vast community of food lovers actively shares their photos, recommendations and reviews, so users have all the information that they need to make an informed choice.
2) Building amazing experiences around dining
Starting with information for over 1.4 million restaurants (and counting) globally, they're making the dining experience seamless and more enjoyable with services like online ordering and table reservations.
3) Enabling restaurants to create amazing experiences
With dedicated engagement and management tools like Order, Zomato Book and Zomato Base, they're enabling restaurants to spend more time focusing on food itself, which translates directly to better dining experiences.
Visit Zomato's website here to search for places to eat!