I heard about the Zomato app when it launched earlier this year but at the time I was feeling rather overwhelmed by social media (some days I still am!) & didn’t want another app.
That said, I’ve since gotten into the app after a recent Zomato foodie meet up & found it to be more that I perceived. The app is available for download on all platforms (I’m using the Android one) & looks quite sleek.
The landing page when you open the app…
I love listening to start up’s stories and Zomato‘s is a pretty cool one. Back in 2008 two friends in India regularly ate lunch at a variety of restaurants. Soon others in the office also wanted to see the menus, so for convenience, they put in on the intranet. Then others outside of the company wanted in, then the restaurants got interested and yup, the rest is history!
An example of a recent review I did – what can I say – I’m honest :/
- The number 1 thing I enjoy about the app is having restaurant’s menus available easily. I’m still shocked that so many restaurants don’t have a website & if they do, don’t keep their menu on it. Because I don’t eat pork and I red need meat to be halaal, it’s quite a challenge & I like previewing a menu before making a reservation so that I know I’ll have a few decent options to choose from when I get there.
- Vs. it’s competitors, Zomato is quite interactive. For example, when you open the app from your phone, it picks up your location and immediately shows you “featured” posts for restaurants nearby. You can “follow” people on the app, send messages, share reviews on Twitter etc.
- Zomato‘s filters are pretty cool. You can filter a multitude of dimensions (by rating, location, price, opening hours, if there’s Wi-Fi (!!), type of cuisine etc.) but I did not in my wildest dreams (even as I typed it in) expect to be able to filter halaal restaurants. HUGE win!
An example of a filtered search done for halaal restaurants
- Unlike Foursquare (which is where I used to leave foodie tips in the past but I got a bit bored of it), because the Zomato themselves control listings, there is no chance of finding duplicate listings
- You can upload pics from your Instagram feed which is a nice extra option. If you want to simplify things, hashtag your Instagram foodie pics #Zomato & the app can (if you want) filter just those pics for you to choose to upload from – nifty!
- I mentioned “featured” posts above. What happens is that the team selects well-written posts to feature on that city & location’s homepage for all users logging on. Featured reviews go into the “bite contest” where reviewers could win restaurant vouchers weekly (fingers crossed!).
- The Zomato team is swift & responsive. When I asked for a restaurant to be loaded (that I couldn’t find on the app) it was done within 2 days.
- You have to add a minimum of 10 reviews before your reviews become “visible” on the app. While this irritated me a bit, it did motivate me to get 10 loaded asap which I did in a few hours.
- I would love to able to check in at restaurants on Zomato and have the option to link it so that up my check-in activity would show up on Twitter, Facebook etc. (if I wanted it to).
- Not having social media contact info for restaurants is a miss if you ask me – I’d love to be able to tweet a restaurant directly off the app at a push of a button with a question that maybe isn’t answered there.
If I ran the brand
- I’d like to see foodie trends such as food trucks, food markets & pop up restaurants catered for to be reviewed on the app as well – there is so much happening in those spaces…
- Maybe this is a point that’s too ambitious for where SA is but I know there are sites that do it in the US. I would to be able to book a table via Zomato. I imagine restaurants would be concerned with no shows. Still how cool would it be?
- I would add more content (user-generated or even their own) outside of reviews. Maybe have a quick poll on the homepage asking readers who serves the best coffee or macarons etc. – just thinking out load here…
- Lastly I’m frugal so I’d love to see a “specials/deals” section.
Need to know
- Zomato has launched in Johannesburg & more recently Cape Town and are looking into the viability of running in other cities.
Let me know if you’ve ever heard of the app & tried it out?
Happy eating & reviewing!