Zomato is an online restaurant search and discovery service founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008. It currently operates in 23 countries, including India, Australia and the United States. The service began as Foodiebay, conceptualised in the cafeteria of Bain & Company. It features restaurant information such as scanned menus and photos sourced by local street teams, as well as user reviews and ratings. Customers would line up to look at the menus to order food during the lunch hour. Realising this took up a large amount of everyone’s time on a daily basis, Deepinder and Pankaj decided to scan restaurant menus and upload it on an intranet website for Bain employees. The website saw a lot of traffic and was launched publicly in 2008. The website began by listing restaurants in Delhi NCR, and quickly expanded to Kolkata and then Mumbai.
In March 2010, Foodiebay was named among the top 25 most promising internet companies in India by Smart Techie Magazine. Then the parent company of the Naukri.com group invested 47 million in the business. In November 2010, Foodiebay was renamed as Zomato. Zomato raised its second round of funding of US$3.5million from the same investor in September 2011. Zomato started coverage in Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad and launched applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. Zomato also launched zomato.xxx, a site dedicated to food porn. In September, 2012 Zomato expanded to its first overseas location United Arab Emirates, following which it saw quick expansion into Sri Lanka, Qatar, the United Kingdom, Philippines and South Africa. Then the company launched in Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand in July 2013 and Hamilton in December 2013. It made its way to Turkey, Brazil, and Indonesia in November 2013 with its website and apps available in Turkish, Brazilian Portuguese, Indonesian, and English.
Zomato made its first acquisition by buying New Zealand’s Menu-mania for an undisclosed sum. The company acquired online restaurant guides Lunchtime.cz and Obedovat.sk for a combined US$3.25 million. In September, Zomato acquired Poland-based restaurant search service Gastronauci for an undisclosed sum. In October and November Zomato launched its services in Canada, Lebanon and Ireland as well. Zomato acquired Seattle-based food portal Urbanspoon for an undisclosed sum in January 2015. The acquisition marked Zomato’s entry into the United States, Canada and Australia and brought it into direct competition with Yelp, Zagat and Open Table. In the same month, Zomato also acquired Mekanist which is one of the Turkey’s largest restaurant search players, in an all-cash deal.
In 2015, Zomato acquired Delhi based startup MapleGraph that built MaplePOS, a cloud-based point of sale product for restaurants. Zomato renamed the MaplePOS product to ‘Zomato Base’. Zomato also acquired NexTable which is a US based table reservation and restaurant management platform.
The user interface of the website is user friendly and easily accessible. The app provides the following features: ordering food online, creating account, take away delivery, making reservation, searching for restaurant cafes, dinners and bars in different locations.
Ordering Food Online – Ordering food online is very unique feature which allows the website visitors to order food online through the app from favourite restaurants.
Take Away Delivery – The order food can be collect or they also provide the delivery service.
Zomato also provide suggestion according to the visitors lunch and dinner even if one one’s to grab snakes. Zomato provides appropriate suggestion for every food taste. Zomato team gathers information from every restaurant on a regular basis to ensure that their data is fresh. Vast community of food lovers share their reviews and photos, so you have all that you need to make an informed choice. From Vancouver to Auckland, Zomato is used by millions every day to decide where to eat in over 10,000 cities across 23 countries. In a few years, Zomato should be able help point you to a great place to eat no matter what part of the world you’re in.
Zomato also provides direction about how to reach from visitor’s current location to the restaurant location. If it is far from visitor’s current location the app also provides cab services through UBER. In this website you also see quick search options which are very helpful because there are many options such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and nightlife, cafes, desserts and bakeries etc. Zomato team working on solving the challenges that take us a step closer to their mission every day – ensure nobody has a bad meal.
The app also allows its visitors to create accounts where an individual can post about his or her experiences in different restaurants, bars, diners etc. The reviews and stars rating help other visitors to have better perception of places that they have not visited earlier; also the star ratings make the reviews more authentic and reliable to visitors. Zomato takes the opportunity to upload the names of top photographers, reviewers and bloggers in the website on the leaderboards which again is a platform for the users to showcase their skills as photographers, bloggers. This also helps to achieve popularity for the visitors as this becomes a social media kind of platform.
There are pictures of menus from the restaurants posted in the app which again give the visitors better perception of the budget that will be required to visit a certain restaurant especially when the area is new to someone.
The app owners also take serious precautions in the matter of security; on 4 June 2015, an Indian security researcher hacked the Zomato website, gained access to information about 62.5 million users. Using the vulnerability he was able to access personal data of users such as phone number, email address, and Instagram private photos using their Instagram access token. Zomato fixed the issue within 48 hours of it becoming apparent and later on 15 October 2015 Zomato changed business strategies from a Full-Stack market to an enterprise market. This led to Zomato firing 10% of its workforce which equals about 300 people.
Zomato is the one of the pioneers in this field and also they provide great services and that is why this is the highest rated app in the market.