Hunger pangs hit you? Have no idea where to go for grub? Fret not because a new foodie friend is in town. Zomato, a restaurant search and discovery app is expanding its presence in Southeast Asia and is now in Malaysia.
Before you say, “Not another restaurant search app!” hear me out. And no, this isn’t a paid advertorial. Because I consider myself a foodie (aside from being a techhead and petrolhead), finding interesting places to eat is crucial for my tastebuds and sanity. And what’s more important is find good places to eat.
Let’s take a step back and see how this process goes. More often than not, we depend on the recommendation of friends and family. With everything online and mobile now, we can now also get information, location, ratings and reviews online. I tend to go to a few food blogs I trust, as well as the quick ratings from location-based apps. But of course, there are gems we also often stumble upon by chance (which makes it even more important to share).
What’s important is breadth and quality of these recommendations whether it’s through people we know, or online.
Peer power, pure pleasure
This is where Zomato comes in. Think of it as a platform for foodies, like you and me, to get together, explore the world of gastronomy (and gluttony) and share it to the world. Think of Zomato as the TripAdvisor of the restaurant world, where you get reviews and ratings you can trust. Reviews by foodies for foodies.
First a primer about this exciting, delicious new platform. Headquartered in New Delhi, the journey was started seven years ago by Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO of Zomato. It has grown tremendously to a 3,000-strong set-up across 23 countries. Two years ago, it entered Philippines and quickly became one of the largest players there as well as Indonesia.
It recently raised USD60million, led by renowned Singapore investment company Temasek alongside participation from existing investor Vy Capital. Total investment to date is USD225million, involving also Info Edge and Sequoia.
In a nutshell, Zomato is a restaurant search and discovery app – with a database of over 1.4million restaurants. But that it isn’t a one trick pony. It has expanded its offerings to include Online Ordering, Table Reservations, Whitelabel Platform and a Point-of-Sale system. In fact, it has the distinction of being the only one-stop platform to connect consumers and businesses in the restaurant industry.
In Malaysia, at its launch, there’s already 12,000 eateries for you to explore covering Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. And this list will no doubt grow.
Search, discover, eat, share
The key driver for Zomato is the restaurant review. Reviews from trusted foodies carry more weight than typical marketing copy from any business. The influence from peer to peer opinion certainly cannot be undermined.
I’ve started to actively use the platform, and I feel it will get even better in time. But you, Mr and Ms Foodie, need to start using the app and sharing those reviews and ratings. Because you know, life’s too short to eat bad food.
Happy food hunting!
P/S: Pssst… follow me on Zomato!